Sep 122023
 
 September 12, 2023  Posted by at 8:55 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , ,  47 Responses »


Claude Monet O Rio (The River) 1881

 

Zelensky ‘Senses’ Weakening Western Support (RT)
Zelensky Threatens To Terrorize Europe (MoA)
Ukrainians Blame Zelensky For Corruption – Poll (RT)
EU Believes Ukraine Is ‘A Very Corrupt Country’ – Politico (RT)
Blinken Contradicts Ukraine On Peace Negotiations (RT)
Elon Musk Responds To Ukraine ‘Treason’ Claims (RT)
Medvedev Advocates Suspending Diplomatic Relations With EU (TASS)
Russian Customs Chief Accuses EU Of ‘Total Lawlessness’ (RT)
Brazilian Court To Decide About Putin If He Attends G20 Summit – Lula (TASS)
Lies And Pretence In New London Novichok Hearing (Helmer)
The Gun Charge Against Hunter Is the Way of Covering Up the Real Issues (PCR)
The “Why Not” Culture: The Georgia Final Report Should Worry Us All (Turley)
The Mills of the Gods (Jim Kunstler)
9/11 After 22 Years (Paul Craig Roberts)

 

 

 

 

RFK

 

 

 

 

Trump 9/11


https://twitter.com/i/status/1701253565702938885

 

 

 

 

Isaacson

 

 

“A judge in Pennsylvania has ruled that former President Trump has ‘presidential immunity’ and cannot be sued over statements he made about 2020 election fraud.”

 

 

 

 

He’s directly threatening Europe now:

“..the millions of Ukrainian refugees now residing in foreign nations. They have generally “behaved well,” but if the hosts “drive these people into a corner,” the end result will not be “a good story” for Europe..”

Zelensky ‘Senses’ Weakening Western Support (RT)

If Western nations do not maintain their assistance to Kiev, they could face defeats at the ballot box and trouble from the millions of Ukrainian refugees they host, President Vladimir Zelensky has warned. In an interview with The Economist, Zelensky complained about weakening support from senior Western officials, which he claimed to have seen in their eyes during meetings. “I see that he or she is not here, not with us” contrary to spoken assurances, he said, according to the interview published on Sunday. According to Zelensky, failure to support Ukraine amounts to siding with Russia in the conflict, which escalated into open hostilities in February 2022. “If partners do not help us, it means they will help Russia to win,” he stated.

Zelensky believes that Western voters will not forgive their leaders if they “lose Ukraine.” Further trouble may also come from the millions of Ukrainian refugees now residing in foreign nations. They have generally “behaved well,” but if the hosts “drive these people into a corner,” the end result will not be “a good story” for Europe, the president added. The Ukrainian leader said he is “morally” ready for a long war with Russia, but this will require the country to switch to a “totally militarized economy.” He added that now is “a bad moment” for peace talks with Russia, due to the lackluster battlefield progress over the three months of Kiev’s summer ‘counteroffensive’. Moscow has estimated Ukrainian losses during the push at over 66,000 troops and 7,600 heavy weapons.

The Economist noted that the Zelensky government had built up expectations for the offensive, but now he is “carefully adjusting his message to reality.” The Ukrainian president also appeared to take credit for the drone attacks deep inside Russian territory, which Kiev formally refuses to claim as its own. Explaining his strategy, he said public support for the Russian government will fall “because our drones will land.”In a “long war,” Moscow will lose regardless of how the Russians feel because the Russian economy will fail, he added. The Russian government expects the economy to grow by 2.5% or more in 2023. Recent forecasts by the World Bank and the IMF have upgraded their predictions for Russia due to strong industrial production and higher-than-expected energy revenues.

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Moon of Alabama noticed it too.

“I have seen such threats from low ranking individuals of the fascist Bandera fringe. They spoke of terrorism they would unleash in the West should it end its support for Ukraine. That the Ukrainian president now reinforces such threats shows how deeply he immersed himself in that mindset..”

Zelensky Threatens To Terrorize Europe (MoA)

The Economist published another interview with the Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelenski. It includes his usual unrealistic platitudes about not ending the war until Russia has completely pulled back. Speaking with an English language media he didn’t miss to mention the ever misunderstood story about Chamberlain’s move in Munich: “Tapping loudly on the table, Mr Zelensky rejects outright the idea of compromise with Vladimir Putin. War will continue for “as long as Russia remains on Ukrainian territory”, he says. A negotiated deal would not be permanent. The Russian president has a habit of creating “frozen conflicts” on Russia’s borders (in Georgia, for example), not as ends in themselves but because his goal is to “restore the Soviet Union”. Those who choose to talk to the man in the Kremlin are “tricking themselves”, much like the Western leaders who signed an agreement with Adolf Hitler at Munich in 1938 only to watch him invade Czechoslovakia. “The mistake is not diplomacy. The mistake is diplomacy with Putin. He negotiates only with himself.”

In 1938 Chamberlain had no other choice but to give in on Czechoslovakia. Britain was not ready for war and the parts Hitler wanted to annex from Czechoslovakia had undeniably a largely German population: “He contended that Sudeten German grievances were justified and believed that Hitler’s intentions were limited”. Zelenski goes on to threaten, in rather unthankful fashion, those countries which have delivered aid to Ukraine but may want to cut their losses: “Curtailing aid to Ukraine will only prolong the war, Mr Zelensky argues. And it would create risks for the West in its own backyard. There is no way of predicting how the millions of Ukrainian refugees in European countries would react to their country being abandoned. Ukrainians have generally “behaved well” and are “very grateful” to those who sheltered them. They will not forget that generosity. But it would not be a “good story” for Europe if it were to “drive these people into a corner”.

I have seen such threats from low ranking individuals of the fascist Bandera fringe. They spoke of terrorism they would unleash in the West should it end its support for Ukraine. That the Ukrainian president now reinforces such threats shows how deeply he immersed himself in that mindset. A previous Economist story shows that Ukraine has already set up the necessary infrastructure to wage a terrorist campaign: “In modern Ukraine, assassinations date back to at least 2015, when its domestic security service (SBU) created a new body after Russia had seized Crimea and the eastern Donbas region. The elite fifth counter-intelligence directorate started life as a saboteur force in response to the invasion. It later came to focus on what is euphemistically called “wet work”.

“Valentin Nalivaychenko, who headed the SBU at the time, says the switch came about when Ukraine’s then leaders decided that a policy of imprisoning collaborators was not enough. Prisons were overflowing, but few were deterred. “We reluctantly came to the conclusion that we needed to eliminate terrorists,” he says. A former officer of the directorate describes it in similar terms. “We needed to bring war to them.” In 2015 and 2016 the directorate was linked to the assassinations of key Russian-backed commanders in the Donbas; Mikhail Tolstykh, aka “Givi”, killed in a rocket attack; Arsen Pavlov, aka “Motorola”, blown up in a lift; Alexander Zakharchenko, blown up in a restaurant.

Intelligence insiders say the SBU’s fifth directorate is playing a central role in counter-Russia operations. From there it is just a short step towards total war: “Meanwhile, a long war of attrition would mean a fork in the road for Ukraine. The country would lose even more people, both on the front lines and to emigration. It would require a “totally militarised economy”. The government would have to put that prospect to its citizens, Mr Zelensky says, without specifying how; a new social contract could not be the decision of one person. Almost 19 months into the war, the president says he is “morally” ready for the switch. But he will only broach the idea with his people if the weakness in the eyes of his Western backers becomes a “trend”. Has that moment come? No, not yet, he says. “Thank God.” Does Zelenski know of any country with a totally militarized economy that survived? I have yet to hear of one.

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“..78% of Ukrainian adults see Zelensky as “directly responsible” for Kiev’s corruption problem..”

“..only 18% of Ukrainian adults disagreed with the statement that Zelensky bears responsibility…”

And we hand him tens of billions.

Ukrainians Blame Zelensky For Corruption – Poll (RT)

The vast majority of Ukrainians believe that President Vladimir Zelensky is at fault for widespread corruption in the country’s government and military, a new study has revealed. The poll, released on Monday, found that 78% of Ukrainian adults see Zelensky as “directly responsible” for Kiev’s corruption problem. It was conducted by the Ilko Kucheriv Democratic Initiatives Charitable Foundation and the Kiev International Institute of Sociology. Prior to the launch of Russia’s military offensive in February 2022, Ukraine consistently ranked among the world’s most corrupt nations, but it was touted as a bastion of freedom and democracy as the US and its NATO allies rallied public support for massive aid to Kiev. However, Ukrainian corruption remains a concern and could hinder the country’s bid to join the European Union, an unidentified Western diplomat told Politico on Monday.

Ukraine is a “very corrupt country,” the diplomat said, adding that Zelensky’s plan to use the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) to prosecute graft cases could “send the wrong message.” Upon landing in Kiev for a surprise visit on Monday, German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock reportedly said Ukraine needed to step up its efforts to fight corruption. The Ukrainian poll was conducted from July 3 to July 17 in face-to-face interviews with thousands of citizens across the country. There were no major differences in findings based on region or socioeconomic factors. Respondents aged 60 and older took a harsher view, with 81% saying Zelensky was responsible for government corruption. The rate was 70% in the youngest segment, ages 17 to 29. Overall, only 18% of Ukrainian adults disagreed with the statement that Zelensky bears responsibility.

Documents obtained by the International Association of Investigative Journalists in 2021 showed that Zelensky and his business partners set up offshore companies to purchase lavish properties in central London. Zelensky transferred his stake in one of the companies to an aide just before he was elected president in 2019. Supporters of former Ukrainian president Petro Poroshenko accused Zelensky and his associates of using their offshore accounts to evade taxes. Zelensky has purged officials in his government for alleged corruption, including an embezzlement scheme involving humanitarian aid. Just this month, he sacked Defense Minister Aleksey Reznikov, who came under fire earlier this year over purchases of military rations at inflated prices. However, the new defense chief, Rustem Umerov, is reportedly under investigation for alleged crimes in his previous job.

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If everyone’s corrupt, who investigates?

EU Believes Ukraine Is ‘A Very Corrupt Country’ – Politico (RT)

Widespread corruption in Ukraine could hamper Kiev’s bid for EU membership, a western European diplomat told Politico on Monday. He said Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky’s efforts to tackle the problem have also alarmed Brussels. Ukraine applied for membership in the European Union last February, and was formally granted candidate status four months later. Although European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen is expected to address the issue of enlargement during her state of the union speech on Wednesday, and EU Council President Charles Michel has vowed to admit all candidate nations by 2030, Ukraine’s bid could be hamstrung by rampant corruption. Ukraine is a “very corrupt country,”an anonymous western European diplomat told Politico.

“We want to give a positive signal to Ukraine but things such as this proposal to give more power to [Ukraine’s] intelligence [services] over corruption can send the wrong message.” The proposal in question was raised by Zelensky last month. Following a purge of allegedly corrupt officials at the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense, Zelensky announced that he would task the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) with probing and prosecuting corruption cases, taking investigative power away from the country’s multiple anti-graft agencies. The SBU reports solely to Zelensky. Representatives of Ukraine’s existing anti-corruption agencies told Politico last month that by making the SBU the only body allowed to investigate these cases, Zelensky is essentially giving himself the power to decide which corrupt officials to prosecute and which ones to shield.

There is precedent for these fears, the head of the Anti-Corruption Action Center (ACAC), Vitaly Shabunin, said. Oleg Tatarov, the deputy head of Zelensky’s office, was under investigation by the National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine (NABU) last year, when the case was unexpectedly transferred to the SBU. “It was buried there,”Shabunin said. “Now [Zelensky’s] office wants to make that into practice.” Ukraine has for years been ranked as one of the most corrupt countries in the world. According to Transparency International’s Corruption Perception Index, as of 2022, the country ranked 116th out of 180. Aside from corruption concerns, disputes between Ukraine and European nations over agriculture could also hold up Kiev’s membership bid. Ukrainian farmers could undercut their European counterparts with cheap grain exports, meaning that the EU will likely have to reform its Common Agricultural Policy if Ukraine is to be admitted, Politico noted.

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“..Russia controlled more land last month than it did at the beginning of the counteroffensive..” But Blinken said Ukraine reclaimed 50%.

Blinken Contradicts Ukraine On Peace Negotiations (RT)

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has claimed that the Ukrainian government will agree to peace talks with Russia if Moscow offers to negotiate first. Ukrainian leaders have argued otherwise, however, and insist that peace “needs to be won on the battlefield.” “Thus far, we see no indication that [Russian President] Vladimir Putin has any interest in meaningful diplomacy,” Blinken told ABC News on Sunday. “If he does, I think the Ukrainians will be the first to engage, and we’ll be right behind them,” he added. Blinken and other top American officials have long insisted that the Ukrainian government will decide when to seek peace with Russia, and that the US will continue to supply Kiev with weapons until that time comes.

Ukraine agreed in principle to a Turkish-mediated peace deal in April 2022, but walked away from the agreement after a visit to Kiev by then-British prime minister Boris Johnson. Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky has since issued a decree forbidding any negotiations with Putin’s government, as well as repeatedly vowing to take back the territories of Donetsk, Lugansk, Kherson, Zaporozhye, and Crimea – the latter of which voted to join Russia in 2014 – by force. Retaking this land, however, has proven costly for Kiev. More than three months into its long-awaited summer counteroffensive, the Ukrainian military has lost more than 66,000 troops and 7,600 pieces of heavy weaponry, according to the latest figures from the Russian Defense Ministry.

In exchange, Kiev’s forces have only managed to reclaim a handful of villages near Zaporozhye, while Russia controlled more land last month than it did at the beginning of the counteroffensive, according to the Washington Post. Nevertheless, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmitry Kuleba declared last week that the conflict “cannot be ended by simply bringing belligerent parties to the table for negotiations.” “It needs to be won on the battlefield for Russia to become serious about negotiating peace,”Kuleba added. Russia maintains that it is open to a diplomatic solution to the conflict, but that any peace deal would have to take into account the “new territorial reality” – that Donetsk, Lugansk, Kherson, Zaporozhye, and Crimea will never be ceded back to Ukraine. Furthermore, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has said negotiations would be held “not with Zelensky, who is a puppet in the hands of the West, but directly with his masters.”

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“..if anyone is treasonous, it is those who call me such. Please tell them that very clearly.”

Elon Musk Responds To Ukraine ‘Treason’ Claims (RT)

American tech billionaire Elon Musk has responded to criticism over his refusal to help enable a Ukrainian drone attack on Russian naval forces in Crimea by pointing out that he’s a citizen of only the US and isn’t obliged to fight for Kiev. “I am a citizen of the United States and have only that passport,” Musk said on Monday in a post on his X (formerly Twitter) social media platform. “No matter what happens, I will fight for and die in America.” He added that in light of the fact that the US Congress hasn’t declared war on Russia, “if anyone is treasonous, it is those who call me such. Please tell them that very clearly.”

At issue is Musk’s decision last year to prevent his Starlink satellite network from being used to guide Ukrainian naval drones for an attack against the Russian Black Sea Fleet on the Crimean coast. When news of Musk’s refusal came to light last week, US media outlets suggested that he had been traitorous, and Ukrainian presidential aide Mikhail Podoliak accused him of “committing evil and encouraging evil.” The Tesla CEO and SpaceX founder gave Ukraine free use of more than 20,000 Starlink terminals after Russia launched its military offensive against Kiev in February 2022. His aim was to keep Ukrainians from losing internet access and communications capabilities amid the conflict.

However, Musk expressed concern about his network being used for offensive purposes and potentially playing part in triggering a wider conflict. He therefore refused Kiev’s pleas to extend the country’s Starlink coverage all the way to Sevastopol. “If I had agreed to their request, then SpaceX would be explicitly complicit in a major act of war and conflict escalation.” CNN host Jake Tapper argued on Sunday that Musk had “effectively sabotaged” an American ally, and he asked US Secretary of State Antony Blinken whether the “capricious billionaire” should therefore face “repercussions.” Blinken declined to condemn Musk and pointed out that Starlink had been a vital tool for Ukraine’s defense.

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..”straightforward and honest Brussels bosses” who “told all Russians directly and without beating around the bush: you are second-class people for us.”

Medvedev Advocates Suspending Diplomatic Relations With EU (TASS)

Russian Security Council Deputy Chairman Dmitry Medvedev has called for suspending diplomatic relations with the EU in response to the EU decision to bar Russian citizens from entering the EU with everyday personal items, calling it a spit in the face of every Russian. “What should we do about it? Certainly not impose tit-for-tat retaliatory restrictions on EU citizens. We are not racists, in contrast to many leaders of those countries whose relatives served in the SS (Schutzstaffel, the notorious paramilitary organization under Germany’s Nazi regime – TASS). Moreover, those [Europeans] who travel here usually have a love and appreciation for Russia. It would be better just to suspend diplomatic relations with the EU for a while.

And to call our diplomatic personnel home,” Medvedev suggested, commenting on the European Commission’s clarification on the EU’s ban on importing automobiles, smartphones, suitcases and shampoo, among an entire range of items, into the EU from Russia, even for strictly personal use. Medvedev mockingly “praised” the EU leaders, calling them “straightforward and honest Brussels bosses” who “told all Russians directly and without beating around the bush: you are second-class people for us.” And the EU’s decision is clearly not meant as just punishment for what Brussels sees as the “criminal and aggressive regime in the Kremlin.” Rather, “this is a spit in the face of every citizen of Russia,” Medvedev emphasized. In suggesting measures to suspend Moscow’s diplomatic relations with the EU, Medvedev noted that only such a move could make Brussels officials truly afraid, “because embassies are [traditionally] evacuated before certain very specific events.”

“Who knows what else these ‘orcs’ from that immense ‘Mordor’ are capable of?” Medvedev asked sarcastically, using a common derogatory slur used in the West to refer to Russia and Russians, equating them to the goblin-like humanoid creatures in J.R.R. Tolkien’s fantasy novel “The Lord of the Rings.” The European Commission’s clarification dated September 8 bans the import from Russia to the EU of goods listed in Annex 21 to EU Regulation No. 833/2014, regardless of the purpose of their use and the duration of stay in the EU, including cars with less than 10 seats. The EC emphasized that it does not matter whether the vehicles are being used for private or commercial purposes. The list contains a wide range of all sorts of items from cellular telephones and audio and video recording devices, to suitcases, hold-alls, articles of clothing, toothpaste, shampoo and other hygiene products.

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“Goods that are classified as prohibited – even shampoo and toilet paper – should be confiscated..”

“..at least “they have not banned [Russian nationals] from wearing pants when crossing the border.”

Russian Customs Chief Accuses EU Of ‘Total Lawlessness’ (RT)

Russia’s interim customs chief has blasted the European Commission’s instruction to EU member states to confiscate personal possessions of arriving Russian tourists. “How do we take the European Commission’s ban on traveling by personal car or with smart phones? Well, it’s utter nonsense,”Ruslan Davydov told journalists on Monday on the sidelines of an economic forum in the city of Vladivostok. The EU slapped wide-ranging sanctions on trade with Russia over the Ukraine conflict. Last Friday, however, Brussels explained that the restrictions should also apply to items for personal use brought by tourists crossing the bloc’s border. Goods that are classified as prohibited – even shampoo and toilet paper – should be confiscated, according to the clarification. The European Commission urged “EU operators [to] identify, assess, and understand the possible risks of sanctions circumvention” when conducting customs checks.

Davydov branded the decision as “total lawlessness” that defies the normal logic of customs controls. Moscow has little influence on the policies, since the EU broke all cooperation with Russia, he noted. “The way they regulate customs procedures on their soil can only invoke regret and incomprehension,” he added. But at least “they have not banned [Russian nationals] from wearing pants when crossing the border.”=The official assured that the Federal Customs Service, which he heads, shall not adopt a similar policy regarding tourists arriving from the EU. The Russian embassy in Helsinki urged citizens on Sunday not to travel to Finland in cars with Russian license plates, citing the risk of seizure stemming from the new guidelines.

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Lula opens the door and closes it at the same time. Putin as Schrödinger’s president: “..the decision [on a possible arrest] is within the power of the judiciary, not my government..”

Brazilian Court To Decide About Putin If He Attends G20 Summit – Lula (TASS)

The issue of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s arrest during his visit to the G20 summit in Brazil in 2024 will be considered by the country’s court taking into account the arrest warrant issued for the Russian leader by the International Criminal Court (ICC), the country’s president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva said. “If Putin decides to attend [next year’s summit], the decision [on a possible arrest] is within the power of the judiciary, not my government,” Reuters quoted the politician as saying. On September 9, in an interview with the Indian TV channel Firstpost, Lula da Silva said that as long as he was president of Brazil, “he [Putin] will not be arrested without the authorization of the authorities.” At the same time, Reuters pointed out the president questioned Brazil’s membership in the ICC. He recalled that neither Russia, China nor the US are members of the organization.

According to the leader, such agreements harm developing countries. On March 17, the ICC issued arrest warrants for Russian President Vladimir Putin and Russian Presidential Commissioner for Children’s Rights Maria Lvova-Belova, alleging that they were responsible for the unlawful deportation of Ukrainian children. It could theoretically be executed if the Russian leader arrives in one of the countries that recognize the ICC’s jurisdiction. Moscow has rejected such accusations, calling “the very phrasing of the question” outrageous and pointing out that Russia does not recognize the jurisdiction of the ICC, so its decisions are null and void for Russia.

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“Sergei Skripal, the original target and survivor of the Novichok attack allegations in the official narrative, must never be allowed to testify publicly..”

Lies And Pretence In New London Novichok Hearing (Helmer)

In a London courtroom last week, lawyers for the British government and the presiding judge, Lord Anthony Hughes (lead image, centre), revealed they will resist the efforts of the Dawn Sturgess family to obtain a multi-million pound settlement in compensation for what they claim, and the government says, was her death five years ago from Novichok poisoning by Russian state agents. Secrecy is the key, not only to the big money claim, but to the government’s aim to defeat it and at the same time preserve the official story that the Kremlin ordered and carried out the chemical warfare attack in England in 2018.

Lord Hughes is defending the government’s effort to keep secret enough of the evidence in the case to block Adam Straw KC and Michael Mansfield KC, the Sturgess family lawyers, from demonstrating that the British security services should have known in advance – and did know enough — to have protected Sturgess from the Russian cause of her death. Their argument has been that for this negligence a very large sum of money should be paid to Sturgess’s heirs, to Rowley, and to the lawyers. The judge, the government, and the lawyers have agreed, however, there is one secret they must all keep. Sergei Skripal, the original target and survivor of the Novichok attack allegations in the official narrative, must never be allowed to testify publicly to what he knows.

To cover this up, Straw, Mansfield, and a lawyer representing the British press lied in court last week, claiming they want “open justice” from the secret services and the police. According to Jude Bunting KC representing the media, “open justice is about avoiding ill-informed speculation about proceedings and, insofar as material is in the public domain because of assertion, or even because of state-sponsored [Russian] misinformation, that is all the more reason for disclosing that material in open rather than in closed.” Hughes claimed to be seeking the same openness. “One of the difficulties of this inquiry and this case…is that everybody popularly supposes that they know the answer. They may or may not be right, but the purpose of the inquiry is to find out.” Hughes was pretending.

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Paul Craig Roberts. “The gun charge is just a way of getting rid of the real charges..”

The Gun Charge Against Hunter Is the Way of Covering Up the Real Issues (PCR)

Conservatives and Republicans are gleeful that the DOJ has been forced off its sweetheart gun charge deal for Hunter and might now have to bring a felony gun charge. The conservatives and Republicans do not realize that the gun charge is the least serious or important of the charges and that by making the gun charge the issue the real issues, which are threats to Joe Biden, don’t get a day in court. The gun charge is just a way of getting rid of the real charges. Moreover, if Hunter is convicted, something a Democrat jury is unlikely to do, and doesn’t get a suspended sentence, Joe will pardon him.

The conservatives and Republicans don’t understand that they and President Trump, not the Bidens, are the prosecutors’ target. We now have a black quota-hire Fulton County prosecutor adding US Senators and Trump lawyers to her racketeering indictment. The ridiculous indictment is so broadly framed that anyone who expressed doubt about the election is covered by the indictment. When you give power over law to people who see law only as a weapon with which to get enemies, you destroy the rule of law. That’s what the dumbshit white liberals have done.

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“..But the question is whether such requests are evidence of a crime…”

The “Why Not” Culture: The Georgia Final Report Should Worry Us All (Turley)

With the release of the special grand jury final report in Georgia, the nation finally was able to see what foreperson Emily Kohrs last February was giggling about in interviews. Call it the “Why not?” report. Back then, when Kohrs was asked if there were recommended charges, she chuckled and said, “Can you imagine doing this for eight months and not coming out with a whole list of recommended indictments? It’s not a short list. It’s not.’” In addition to nodding at an expected Trump indictment, she added, “There may be some names on that list that you wouldn’t expect.” After all, why not? The final product did not disappoint. The members recommended 39 people for prosecution, including Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and former Sens. Kelly Loeffler (R-Ga.) and David Perdue (R-Ga.).

They also included lawyers who argued for recounts or investigations into alleged election fraud. While the report expressly claims that the Fulton County District Attorney’s office did not create the list, it was the office of Fani Willis that presented the law, the evidence and potential targets to the special grand jury. During that process, these members concluded that politicians voicing support for the former president and his allegations could be criminally charged for doing so. The news that Willis did not indict Graham and others infuriated many on the left. Liberal websites were inundated with comments like “I want all the enablers charged, tried, and given long sentences as traitors to our country” and asking why the list did not include Senators Grassley, Cruz, Lee and “147 current and former members of the House, just to name a few.”

[..] The question is when advocacy or inquiries or negotiations become criminal acts. Willis’s first grand jury clearly believed that senators who called for recounts or Raffensperger’s resignation should go to prison. The comparison between their recommendations and the eventual indictment does not clearly answer how such acts are distinguishable as crimes. The same lack of limiting principle is evident in the new theory being pushed by various experts under the 14th Amendment to bar Trump from ballots on the grounds that he “engaged in insurrection or rebellion” or gave “aid or comfort to the enemies thereof.” Beyond the tendentious claim that the Jan. 6 riot was an actual insurrection, they also maintain that the provision is self-executing, requiring no vote of Congress for secretaries of state to bar Trump from next year’s ballots.

Even though Trump has not been charged, let alone convicted, of insurrection (or even incitement), these advocates believe that he can be removed from the ballot because of his election claims, his inflammatory rhetoric and his delay in calling for supporters to leave the Capitol. This is one of the most dangerous legal theories to arise in decades. This week, Democratic Arizona Secretary of State Adrian Fontes aptly described the claimed right to disqualify as a “radical” measure that would “encompass every elected office in our government — state, local, federal, and so forth.” Indeed, Democrats have called for barring not just Trump but 120 Republicans in Congress from running for office.

As with the Georgia special grand jury, the question is “Why not?” If the standard is “giving aid or comfort” to insurrectionists, then why not throw hundreds of other Republicans who supported the challenge to certification on Jan. 6 off the ballot? And while we’re at it, why not bar every lawyer who helped file claims of voting fraud from ever running for office? They all gave aid or comfort with their actions. By this reasoning, Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Md.) and other Democrats could have been barred from ballots for opposing Trump’s certification in 2016 without any basis, along with leaders such as Hillary Clinton, who continued to call the election “stolen” for years. In 2016, there were also violent riots in Washington opposing Trump’s inauguration, thanks in no small part to such rhetoric. We can then have different candidates of both parties removed from ballots in every state.

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“Mr. Gaetz pushed through an agreement that the process to remove and replace the Speaker of the House could be activated by one vote. Mr. Gaetz reiterated last week that he means business. He’s the one vote.”

The Mills of the Gods (Jim Kunstler)

Do you think that more than half of the US public may be getting a little irked with “Joe Biden’s” lawfare elf, AG Merrick Garland, as he rolls one innocent J-6 protester after another into decades of hard-time for strolling through the US Capitol building — while the special counsels assigned to only a few of the Biden family crimes play hide-the-salami with due process? For all their cheap talk about “our democracy,” it’s a little scary to see what Democratic Party lawyers actually think of the legal system that is supposed to allow a society based on liberty to function fairly. Court filings last week indicate that Special Counsel David Weiss is about to indict Hunter Biden on that gun charge they have used as the joker in a three-card Monte game for going on five years.

Last time, they ran the game before Delaware federal judge Maryellen Noreika, she detected a teeny-weeny, sneaky clause in the plea agreement to a watered-down gun charge that would have granted immunity to Hunter B from any other past wrongdoing, including, of course, the entire alleged Biden family racketeering operation that had the First Son acting as prime broker and bag-man for tens of millions of dollars in bribes from foreign actors in countries less than friendly to US interests, funneled into any number of Biden family shell corporations. Judge Noreika nixed the plea agreement. Now, Mr. Weiss’s crew seems to be saying that the immunity clause is still tied to any plea deal answering a forthcoming September 29 indictment.

The move would appear to be timed to exactly the moment that a House impeachment committee would begin its inquiry into the Biden family’s moneygrubbing activities. In ordinary House committee hearings, DOJ officials like to use the excuse of “an ongoing investigation” to demur from answering questions. Merrick Garland has done this dozens of times. Will they now try to upgrade that to “an ongoing prosecution?” Could that move lead to a constitutional impasse, requiring the Supreme Court to rule? Or does a House impeachment panel enjoy special privileges of inquiry? It also appears that Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FLA) intends to force the issue of opening an impeachment ASAP against “Joe Biden.” In last January’s maneuvering to seat a new Republican House majority, Mr. Gaetz pushed through an agreement that the process to remove and replace the Speaker of the House could be activated by one vote. Mr. Gaetz reiterated last week that he means business. He’s the one vote.

The argument that Republicans should leave hands-off “Joe Biden” so they can run against the feeble old grifter in 2024 is preposterous because there is no way that the “JB” can possibly run for reelection under any circumstances. It’s just another trip being laid on the American public — and one that illustrates how tragic and dangerous is the absence of an honest news media for challenging such insolent gambits. The President can barely totter into a room now without making some embarrassing pratfall or gaffe. He couldn’t possibly survive a debate, especially with all the new records of his crimes unearthed since the last time around in 2020 when he pretended to know nothing about his son’s business dealings.

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“..it is pretty clear who is responsible for 9/11 and why. Many Americans today understand what really happened..”

“It is paradoxical that President Trump is in the dock for questioning an election, while Dick Cheney and the neoconservatives, and the whore media that covered up for them, never faced a single charge.”

9/11 After 22 Years (Paul Craig Roberts)

Today is the 22nd Anniversary of the attack on the World Trade Center and Pentagon known as 9/11. A generation of 22-year olds has grown up after 9/11, and the event probably means nothing to them. They learn that it was an attack on America like the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, and 9/11 disappears into history. It is unlikely that anyone under 40 is much concerned with 9/11. A 40-year old today would have been 18 in 2001 and would likely dismiss 9/11 concerns as conspiracy theory. Today’s youth are more likely to be marching in support of sexual perversion than wondering about the source and purpose of the 9/11 attack.

Over the years I have reported the mounting evidence provided by scientists and by architect Richard Gage’s Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth until the organization he created removed him at the request of the government, effectively destroying the organization. But for me the proof that 9/11 was an inside job has always been that no one in government and security agencies was ever held accountable for the worst humiliation ever inflicted on an alleged “superpower.” Instead, it took a year before the White House even agreed to an official coverup with the 9/11 Commission, another in the long line of commissions like the Warren Commission that validates the official story. If a few young Saudi Arabians had actually defeated the entire national security apparatus of the United States, the White House would have been screaming, and heads would have rolled.

The neoconservatives had just called for a “new Pearl Harbor” so they could launch their wars of destruction of Israel’s enemies in the Middle East. They immediately blamed 9/11 on “Muslim terrorists” and began their invasions that halted only when Russia blocked the neoconservatives’ overthrow of Syria. So it is pretty clear who is responsible for 9/11 and why. Many Americans today understand what really happened, but the government will never admit it. It takes decades for the truth to come out, and by then everyone affected by the event is dead, and the event becomes ancient history. It is paradoxical that President Trump is in the dock for questioning an election, while Dick Cheney and the neoconservatives, and the whore media that covered up for them, never faced a single charge.

Read more …

 

 

 

 

Great Depression
https://twitter.com/i/status/1701337655886102874

 

 

Smile
https://twitter.com/i/status/1701205047835521236

 

 

Left my heart

 

 

 

 

Support the Automatic Earth in wartime with Paypal, Bitcoin and Patreon.

 

 

 

 

 

Jul 202023
 


Andy Warhol Grace Kelly 1984

 

RFK Jr’s Racist, Antisemitic And Xenophobic Views Go Back Decades (G.)
Anything Anything Anything To Avoid Debating RFK Jr. (Patrick Lawrence)
RFK Jr. Floats Plan to Back Dollar With Bitcoin, Gold (Tweedie)
Why the Ukraine Conflict Will Unravel NATO and Biden (Desai)
West Ready To Turn Blind Eye To Any Crimes Of Kiev – Kremlin (TASS)
How Much Of The $185 Billion Given By The West To Ukraine Was Stolen? (Trenin)
Mosquitoes And Pinpricks: Warmaking As Public Relations (Helmer)
World Is Getting Tired Of Ukraine Conflict – Lula (RT)
West Not Prepared For Conflict With China – FT (RT)
The Latest Racist Attacks on Clarence Thomas (Turley)
Trump Could Face ‘Seditious Conspiracy’ Charge in Jan. 6 Probe (ET)
Europe to See ‘Devastating Migration Crisis’ After Grain Deal Suspension (Sp.)
Julian Assange Is ‘Dangerously Close’ to Extradition (Cohn)

 

 


One of these songs got removed because the lyrics were “too offensive” the other song was number 1 on billboard….

 

 

Donalds
https://twitter.com/i/status/1681776860567314434

 

 

FD-1023
https://twitter.com/i/status/1681816534212026368

 

 

MTG

 

 

Big guy

 

 

Ziegler

Joseph Ziegler #IRSwhistleblower:
Money IRS found that was paid to Hunter Biden and associates from 2014-2019:
From Romania $3.1 million
CEFC subsidiary: $3m
Hudson West III [CEFC]: $3.7m
Burisma $6.5m
Total foreign income streams: $17m

 

 

 

 

Macgregor
https://twitter.com/i/status/1681822628502200320

 

 

Putin:

Russia showed miracles of patience, constantly extending the grain deal;
Failure to fulfill obligations to the Russian Federation under the grain deal is impudence and impudence;
The West has done everything to derail the grain deal;
The West once pushed Africa into the abyss of wars, famine and poverty, and now continues its neo-colonial policy;
The West obstructs even the free transfer of fertilizers by Russia to the poorest countries;
The grain deal resulted in direct losses for Russian farmers in the amount of $1.2 billion;
Russia is ready to replace Ukrainian grain on the world market both on a gratuitous and commercial basis;
Putin confirmed the readiness of the Russian Federation to return to the grain deal if the obstacles to its agricultural exports are removed;
Putin called the resumption of work of the Togliati-Odessa ammonia pipeline one of the conditions for the resumption of the grain deal;
The West completely “emasculated and perverted” the originally humanitarian essence of the grain deal, made it an instrument of enrichment for speculators;
To resume the grain deal, it is necessary to return its humanitarian essence;
Russia will immediately return to the grain deal if all its conditions are met.

 

 

 

 

Wanna know how the US elections will be narrated? Look no further. And this is the Guardian, not even American. No shame, no balance. And it isn’t even Luke Harding. Please read the whole article.

RFK Jr’s Racist, Antisemitic And Xenophobic Views Go Back Decades (G.)

Robert Kennedy Jr, a long-shot Democratic candidate for US president, has a long history of racism, antisemitism and xenophobia, and should be denied a national platform, according to a damning report seen by the Guardian. Kennedy, who provoked anger last week when he was filmed falsely suggesting that the coronavirus could have been “ethnically targeted” to spare Ashkenazi Jews and Chinese people, is due to testify at the US Capitol in Washington on Thursday. The Congressional Integrity Project, a political watchdog, called for Republicans to disinvite Kennedy after releasing a report that details his meetings with and promotion of racists, antisemites and extremist conspiracy theorists. “Kennedy embraces virtually every conspiracy theory in existence,” the report states.

“His horrific antisemitic and xenophobic views are simply beyond the pale, and he has frequently met with and promoted antisemitic conspiracy theorists. Kennedy’s anti-vaccine conspiracies go back decades and have had deadly real world consequences.” Kennedy, an environmental lawyer, is running against Joe Biden in the Democratic presidential primary and has drawn big and enthusiastic crowds and polled as high as 20%. But the Project’s document argues that Kennedy’s recent comments about Jewish and Chinese people, which were quickly hailed by neo-Nazis and Holocaust deniers as “100% correct”, were not an aberration but fitted a long pattern. Earlier this summer Kennedy touted a meeting with Ice Cube, a rapper who issued bizarre antisemitic tweets, and publicly defended musician Roger Waters, who was embroiled in controversy after donning a costume intended to evoke Nazi attire at a concert in Germany.

The report says Kennedy has also repeatedly promoted and praised fringe online broadcaster James Corbett, a Sandy Hook and 9/11 conspiracy theorist who has claimed that “Hitler and the Nazis were 100% completely and utterly set up”. Kennedy has often allied himself with the National of Islam leader, Louis Farrakhan, who regularly unleashed tirades about alleged Jewish control of media and government. Kennedy met Farrakhan at his Chicago home in 2015, with Farrakhan later tweeting that they discussed “a vaccine that is designed to affect Black males”.

The Project details how Kennedy himself has frequently invoked Nazi Germany when pushing debunked theories about vaccines. He put out a video that showed the infectious disease expert Anthony Fauci with a moustache reminiscent of Adolf Hitler and used the word “holocaust” to describe children he believes were hurt by vaccines in 2015.

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“..a man who knows who is doing what to develop bioweapons and says so with no apparent fear or favor… and we must conclude he hates Jews.”

Anything Anything Anything To Avoid Debating RFK Jr. (Patrick Lawrence)

The Post had the integrity to publish a 1–minute 47–second video—a snippet or the whole is not clear—that either Levine or a colleague recorded during the lunch. I cannot comment on the decisive question concerning the breaking of wind at Tony’s, but nothing raucous goes on in the video, and what Levine chose to quote in his copy was (1) a provocative misrepresentation of Kennedy’s point and (2) left out the most startling part of his comments. [..] To the first point, anyone who finds it odd for someone to state that diseases strike some groups of people more severely than others is simply too prone to malign suggestion to make his or her way in our propagandized world. It has been understood for who knows how long that sickle-cell anemia strikes hardest in Black and Latin American communities, to take one common example.

Covid–19 is no different. The Mayo Clinic has a report on its website analyzing the relative vulnerabilities of various racial and ethnic groups to Covid–19 infections. As to Kennedy’s reference to European Jews and the Chinese, he clarified subsequent to the lunch that this relied on a study conducted by the Cleveland Clinic indicating that some ethnic and racial groups, among them Ashkenazi Jews, were less susceptible to the Covid–19 virus than other groups, among which are Blacks. This—the blood simmers as I write this sentence—is the basis of the charge that R.F.K. Jr. displayed anti–Semitic tendencies while consuming his pasta with white clam sauce at Tony’s earlier this month. Here is the portion of Kennedy’s recorded remarks I found revelatory. In it, he reiterates that scientific studies show Caucasians and Blacks to be most vulnerable to Covid–19 infection and European Jews and Chinese are least vulnerable, “because of the genetic structures, the genetic differentials among different races:”

“And we need to talk about bioweapons. I know a lot about bioweapons because I’ve been doing a book on them for the past two and a half years. And… the technology we now have… we’ve put hundreds of millions of dollars into ethnically targeted microbes. The Chinese have done the same thing…. We know the Chinese are spending hundreds of millions of dollars developing ethnically targeted bioweapons, and we are developing ethnic bioweapons. That’s what all those labs in the Ukraine are about. They’re collecting Russian DNA. They’re collecting Chinese DNA so they can target people by race.”

Why aren’t our mainstream media picking up on this interesting, highly consequential story? Believe me, they will go nowhere near the question of American-made bioweapons and those three dozen laboratories in Ukraine. Nah, the fantasies of a conspiracy theorist. We have a man who has spent his professional life in the precincts of science, a man who researched the topic of ethnically targeted bioweapons for two-plus years and is writing a book about them, a man who is plainly conversant with the pertinent scientific vocabulary and the theories expressed therein, a man who knows who is doing what to develop bioweapons and says so with no apparent fear or favor… and we must conclude he hates Jews.

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“Fiat currency was invented to fund wars..”

RFK Jr. Floats Plan to Back Dollar With Bitcoin, Gold (Tweedie)

US presidential hopeful Robert F. Kennedy Jr. has said he will underpin the dollar with more solid assets — including Bitcoin. Kennedy, the nephew of assassinated president John F. Kennedy, is mounting an outsider challenge to incumbent Joe Biden for the Democratic Party presidential nomination in the 2024 election. Speaking at an event organised by the Heal-the-Divide political action committee (PAC) on Tuesday, Kennedy outlined some unorthodox ideas for shoring up the value of Treasury bills, government-issued short-term investment securities. “My plan would be to start very, very small, perhaps one percent of issued T-bills would be backed by hard currency, by gold, silver platinum or Bitcoin,” Kennedy said.

Bitcoin, the first cryptocurrency on the market since its launch in 2009 by an enigmatic developer or developers known as Satoshi Nakamoto, is not backed by gold reserves or a national economy and continues to fluctuate wildly in value. However, its creators have set a final limit on how many of the virtual ‘crypto coins’ will be in circulation, preventing their debasement. “Backing dollars and US debt obligations with hard assets could help restore strength back to the dollar, rein in inflation and usher in a new era of American financial stability, peace and prosperity,” the Democrat argued. He also made a rare argument against the use of Fiat money — currencies not backed by gold or other commodities — as the the greenback has been since 1971 when president Richard Nixon took it off the Gold Standard.

Kennedy’s late uncle JFK “understood the importance of hard currency and the dangers of having pure fiat currency with no other option,” he said. “He understood the relationship between fiat currency and war … and also these giant aggregations of wealth and the unbalance, the disparities in wealth that are the ultimate yield of every fiat currency.” He also linked the shift to Fiat currency, with the option of inflationary ‘quantitative easing’ to America’s endless series of imperialist conflicts overseas. “Fiat currency was invented to fund wars,” Kennedy stressed. “I like base currencies because they make it more difficult, you have to go to the public. You can’t just print money to fund the war and tax the public through the hidden tax of inflation.”

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“Europe can thank its stars that the critical aid and immense sacrifices of Soviet and Chinese forces ensured victory in the Second World War..”:

Why the Ukraine Conflict Will Unravel NATO and Biden (Desai)

Always a work-in-progress, NATO unity has got more difficult as US power has declined. In recent decades, its chief glue has been US military power. If it too ceases to bind – as is clear from the string of military failures culminating in the humiliating exit from Afghanistan – then the self-sacrifice Biden has demanded, and some extent received, from the Europeans on Ukraine – is the dime on which the future of US leadership over what remains of its allies and of its chief instrument, NATO, will turn.Understanding such imminent fundamental change requires a return to fundamentals beneath the appearance of NATO unity. The much-vaunted Article 5 may state, famously, that ‘an armed attack against one … shall be considered an attack against … all’.

However, if you think this obliges all members to rush to the defence of attacked members with all they’ve got, think again. The article specifies further that each ally will ‘will assist … by taking forthwith … such action as it deems necessary [emphasis added]’. So, allied solidarity turns out to be a moveable feast, meaning only what each member country ‘deems necessary’. On the matter of the US commitment to Europe, which NATO is held to powerfully instantiate, even the early Cold War commitment to defend Western Europe against the big bad Soviet Union, amounted, practically, to schemes that were ‘always far-fetched and recognised as such’.

If you are shocked, consider this: the US ‘aided’ Europe during the two World Wars on a more or less commercial basis, vastly increasing its economic and financial clout at the expense of ‘allies’. Ruinously for them, it demanded repayment of its war loans after the First World War and, equally ruinously, demanded policy alignment after the Second. Europe can thank its stars that the critical aid and immense sacrifices of Soviet and Chinese forces ensured victory in the Second World War, and that the alleged threat of an imminent Soviet attack on Western Europe was little more than a figment of the very hysterical US imagination that has kept its military industrial complex is such fine fettle down the decades.

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“This is nothing new, it has happened before. It will happen again, we understand it very well.”

West Ready To Turn Blind Eye To Any Crimes Of Kiev – Kremlin (TASS)

Moscow fully understands that the West has been and will continue to turn a blind eye to any crimes committed by the Kiev regime, Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov said. Commenting on the reaction of Western countries to the terrorist attack on the Crimean Bridge, the spokesman said: “The West is ready to turn a blind eye to any terrorist attack organized by the Kiev regime in our country. In this case they are silent. This is nothing new, it has happened before. It will happen again, we understand it very well.”


Ukrainian forces used two surface drones to carry out a terrorist attack on the Crimean Bridge in the early morning hours of Monday, the National Antiterrorism Committee told TASS. The Russian Investigative Committee has opened a criminal case under the article “Act of Terrorism.” The terrorist attack resulted in the deaths of two adults, a married couple from the Belgorod Region, and injuries to their minor child. As well, the bridge’s road surface was damaged. Traffic on the bridge has been suspended since the morning. Train traffic has already resumed and a ferry crossing is now operating. Passenger cars will soon be able to transit to the mainland from Crimea via ferry, but trucks must take a northern overland detour through the new regions.

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“Corruption there is beyond belief. It always has been. And that doesn’t change. That’s all I was writing about,” Hersh said.”

How Much Of The $185 Billion Given By The West To Ukraine Was Stolen? (Trenin)

The problem persists despite the fact that for many years, the US has invested funds to battle corruption in Ukraine. The funds were allocated to the Prosecutor General’s office, the local media, and other organizations. This was stated by the administrator of the US Agency for International Development (USAID), Samantha Power, at a congressional hearing. Despite this, the crimes in Ukraine continue. Some time ago, Ukrainian anti-corruption police arrested the deputy minister of infrastructure on suspicion of receiving a bribe of €367,000 for the purchase of generators at an inflated price. And recently, the head of Ukraine’s Supreme Court was accused of corruption. Then, there was the investigation by a Ukrainian newspaper which reported that Ukraine’s Ministry of Defense had concluded contracts for food supplies for front line troops at a price two to three times higher than normal – an investigation that caused a big scandal.


The Pentagon’s concerns that weapons supplied to Ukraine may end up on the black market have also been confirmed. “Very early [in the conflict], Poland, Romania, other countries on the border were being flooded with weapons we [the US and allies] were shipping for the war to Ukraine. In other words, commanders of I don’t know what level – often it wasn’t generals, it was colonels and others, who were given shipments of some weapons, [who] would personally resell them to the dark market,” Hersh told ‘Going Underground’ host Afshin Rattansi. He added that everybody in Ukraine’s government is now getting third parties involved, as this increases their chances of earning money on the side. “Corruption there is beyond belief. It always has been. And that doesn’t change. That’s all I was writing about,” Hersh said.

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“..of course Ukraine has to decide how it conducts this war in defence of its umm territory, its people, ahhh its freedom.”

Mosquitoes And Pinpricks: Warmaking As Public Relations (Helmer)

On the battlefield the Ukraine has pioneered the Mosquito Tactic – that’s sending units of dozens of soldiers running towards Russian defence fortifications in several swarms at the same time, across a half-dozen salients up and down the line of contact. In parallel, in the air and on the sea President Vladimir Zelensky and his general staff have devised the Bloody Pinprick Tactic – that’s drones exploding on Russian targets like the Crimean Bridge or the Kremlin Senate Dome. The purpose of both, mosquitoes and pinpricks, is warmaking as public relations, Zelensky is advertising the illusion that the Ukrainian army can win its offensive against Russia, no matter how great the loss in Ukrainian men and materiel; notwithstanding how little the impact on Russian forces.

The real target of this bloody PR isn’t the Russians. It is Zelensky’s NATO allies and paymasters who secretly warned him during the July 11-12 NATO summit meeting that the cashflow and the enthusiasm are already running down, and may be cut by Christmas. The tactic of bloody PR means making daily defeat look like imminent victory, with conditions: NATO fighter-bombers pretending to be Ukrainian; Polish troops around Lvov pretending to be the revival of the Polish-Lithuanian union of 1386; and grain carriers as warships on the Black Sea, pretending to feed the hungriest populations of the world. In its statement on the Crimean Bridge attack twelve hours later, the Russian Foreign Ministry said “if the investigation finds that the surface drones that attacked the bridge are of Western origin, and that Western countries played a role in planning, sponsoring and conducting this operation, it will confirm their complicity in the Kiev regime’s terrorist activity.”

Asked to comment, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said “this is a situation we are monitoring. Ah, and I don’t really have anything in particular to offer on that, err, just, ahh, I can say that as a general proposition, of course Ukraine has to decide how it conducts this war in defence of its umm territory, its people, ahhh its freedom.”

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Yes.

World Is Getting Tired Of Ukraine Conflict – Lula (RT)

Countries around the world are beginning to grow weary of the ongoing military conflict between Moscow and Kiev, Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva told reporters on Wednesday. “The world is starting to get tired. Countries are starting to get tired,” he said following a two-day meeting of EU and Latin American leaders in Brussels, as quoted by Bloomberg. The Brazilian president predicted that there will eventually come a moment when there will be peace in Ukraine, and insisted that a group of countries will have to be able to talk to both Moscow and Kiev Lula, who has been pushing for a peace deal between Russia and Ukraine, also objected to efforts to single out Moscow as the sole culprit behind the conflict.

He insisted that Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky, as well as US leader Joe Biden, were equally to blame for failing to negotiate with Russian leader Vladimir Putin to prevent the conflict. During this week’s summit between the EU and the Community of South American and Caribbean States (CELAC), European officials had hoped to sign a final statement which would feature an explicit condemnation of Russia’s actions in Ukraine. However, EU leaders failed to persuade all of their Latin American counterparts, as a number of states, including Brazil and Nicaragua, objected to the inclusion of any strong language on Russia in the document. The final declaration, which included promises of investment and several deals, ended up being signed by all members of the summit except Nicaragua, which objected to the inclusion of even a single paragraph referring to the Ukraine conflict.

Despite NATO’s commitment to stand with Ukraine “for as long as it takes,” a number of Western officials have recently started to predict that support for Kiev could soon begin to wane as “war fatigue” sets in over the prolonged conflict. Last week, Czech President Petr Pavel stated that Ukraine should aim to regain as much territory as possible before the 2024 US presidential elections, which could see Kiev’s backers in Washington reconsider the volume of military aid sent to Ukraine. In March, Slovakian President Zuzana Caputova also warned that military aid for Kiev was not unlimited and claimed that public support for Ukraine was “running out.”

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What conflict?

West Not Prepared For Conflict With China – FT (RT)

Ammunition shortages laid bare by the Ukraine conflict have prompted some US think-tanks to check on stockpiles in the West and find them wanting, the Financial Times reported on Wednesday. The military industry of NATO allies is not able to help, either. A Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) wargame of a conflict with China over Taiwan showed that the US had only about 450 long-range anti-ship missiles, enough for about a week. Another think tank, the Center for New American Security (CNAS), said the existing missile inventory is “too small to blunt an initial invasion, let alone prevail in a protracted conflict against China.” To deter and defeat Beijing, the Pentagon “needs large stockpiles of stand-off missiles, maritime strike weapons, and layered air and missile defenses,” CNAS concluded.

According to FT, the US Department of Defense has asked for $1.1 billion in the 2024 fiscal year to buy 118 long-range anti-ship missiles (LRASM), compared to half that amount for 83 missiles the year before. The Pentagon also wants $30 billion for ammunition, a 23% increase over 2023 levels, and $315 billion for new weapons. CNAS has noted that the Pentagon tends to prioritize big-ticket items such as ships, planes and tanks, “leaving missiles and munitions with inadequate funding.” FT revealed that the collective West has spent a combined $170 billion on military and financial aid to Ukraine since February 2022. Kiev is still complaining about ammunition shortages, however.

The US military-industrial complex has spent decades prioritizing efficiency and adopting the just-in-time supply chain used by other industries, according to FT, leaving it unable to scale up production in wartime. Parts and labor shortages are currently a problem as well. “The defense industry is so consolidated that it can’t very quickly expand to support a greater demand,” said Stacie Pettyjohn of CNAS. “So we’re slow and behind and don’t have enough of anything.” Only five companies are responsible for major Pentagon contracts, and some parts are made by only one or two suppliers, with no way to make up the shortage elsewhere. Nor can NATO allies step in to pick up the slack, because the US push to promote American-made weapons has left the European defense industry stunted and fractured, multiple think-tank experts told FT.

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“The racist attack from the top lawyer in the state of Minnesota was not condemned by a single democrat.”

The Latest Racist Attacks on Clarence Thomas (Turley)

In July 1991, Clarence Thomas, a relatively unknown D.C. Circuit judge, was nominated by President George H.W. Bush to replace Thurgood Marshall on the United States Supreme Court. Thomas soon found out that the only thing more perilous than replacing a historical icon on the Court is replacing a liberal with a conservative. Thomas would become an icon in his own right for conservatives: an unyielding defender of textualism and conservative jurisprudence. Yet, liberals seem more preoccupied by his race than his rigidity. This week, a leading Democrat, Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison unleashed another openly racist attack on Thomas and neither the media nor the political establishment condemned the remarks.

Ellison condemned Thomas as a house slave working for white people, analogizing him to the vile character “Stephen,” played by Samuel L. Jackson in the film “Django Unchained.” (Jackson himself called Thomas “Uncle Clarence” after the Dobbs decision overturning Roe v. Wade). Ellison added that, because he disagreed with Thomas’ conservative opinions, the justice is “illegitimate” and “needs to be impeached.” That is, of course, nonsensical from a constitutional standpoint. However, what was most striking is the response to statements. The racist attack from the top lawyer in the state of Minnesota was not condemned by a single democrat. Not Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz, who previously falsely declared that hate speech is not constitutionally protected under the First Amendment and declared himself a champion against bigotry and racist rhetoric.

Not from senior Senator Amy Klubuchar, who has repeatedly denounced racist tropes and rhetoric of Republicans. Not from Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, who rightfully condemned the comments of Republican Sen. Tommy Tuberville on white nationalism but made no comment on a racist attack of Thomas in the same week. Not from President Joe Biden, who has repeatedly denounced racial rhetoric and “codes” by Republicans. Indeed, the day that Ellison’s comments were being aired nationally, White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre went to the press room to denounce Robert F. Kennedy Jr. at length for his statements suggesting that Covid-19 may have been engineered to spare Jewish and Chinese people. Jean-Pierre declared that “it is important that we essentially speak out” when such racist or anti-Semitic comments are made, but then made no mention of the racist attack on Thomas as nothing more than a house slave.

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“Ms. Kelly believes the DOJ approached the Proud Boys trial in a way that seemed to lay the groundwork for bringing the same charge against Mr. Trump..”

Trump Could Face ‘Seditious Conspiracy’ Charge in Jan. 6 Probe (ET)

Prosecutors should first ask for a voluntary appearance before subpoenaing the target of a criminal investigation, according to the Department of Justice’s (DOJ) Justice Manual. Also, lawyers usually discourage their clients from going before a grand jury if they are the target of the investigation—it can be avoided by invoking the right against self-incrimination under the Fifth Amendment, says Marc Ruskin, a former FBI agent and assistant U.S. attorney. However, that may be Mr. Smith’s goal, according to Mr. Ruskin. He noted that Mr. Trump is already facing indictments in New York and Florida and pleading the Fifth in Washington gives another talking point to his opponents. “It could be a tactical and procedural move just to make him look bad,” he said.

“You have Trump, a former president who is running to be president again, pleading the Fifth. I guess from their point of view, it’s going to help make him less attractive as a candidate.” If the target is not asked to testify, “the prosecutor, in appropriate cases, is encouraged to notify such person a reasonable time before seeking an indictment in order to afford him or her an opportunity to testify before the grand jury,” the manual says. Mr. Trump indicated he believes charges against himself are imminent, saying that being told to report to the grand jury, “almost always means an Arrest and Indictment.” Some commentators have long predicted Mr. Trump will face charges in the probe, including Julie Kelly, an independent journalist who had closely followed the trials of Jan. 6 participants.

“I’ve warned of this for over a year. I take no pride in being right,” she commented in a July 18 tweet. “Only question now is what charges Smith will bring (strong possibility he’ll seek indictment on seditious conspiracy) and who is charged with him. (Any conspiracy charge requires at least one conspirator).” In April, she highlighted several members of the pro-Trump Proud Boys group who were convicted of seditious conspiracy. Ms. Kelly believes the DOJ approached the Proud Boys trial in a way that seemed to lay the groundwork for bringing the same charge against Mr. Trump. During the closing arguments, it seemed to her that prosecutors tried to tie Proud Boys to Mr. Trump, particularly regarding a comment by Mr. Trump during a 2020 presidential debate that the Proud Boys should “stand down and stand by.” She pointed to a comment by one of the prosecutors that “defendants saw themselves as Donald Trump’s army, fighting to keep their preferred leader in power no matter what.”

Read more …

And again blame Russia…

Europe to See ‘Devastating Migration Crisis’ After Grain Deal Suspension (Sp.)

Europe, which will be flooded with migrants from low-income countries that rely on grain exports from Ukraine and Russia, will suffer the most from the suspension of the grain deal, international experts told Sputnik on Wednesday. On Monday, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Russia’s participation in the grain deal had been terminated with immediate effect, although it would return to it if commitments toward Moscow were fulfilled. “Europe may soon experience a devastating migration crisis following Russia’s decision to leave the deal. The biggest victim of higher grain prices and shortages in the developing countries will be the European Union,” Yusuf Alabarda, a Turkish political expert and a representative of the M5 Strategy Journal, told Sputnik.

“We know very well that Egypt, Sudan, Ethiopia and a couple of other African countries are mainly dependent on Ukrainian and Russian grain imports. Europe will be overwhelmed by migrants fleeing hunger.” Eugen Schmidt of the Alternative for Germany (AfD) party, in commentary for Sputnik, also predicted a dire impact of the deal’s suspension for the European Union. “Unfortunately, Western countries are deliberately provoking hunger in regions dependent on Ukrainian and Russian grain supplies, which will inevitably incite huge hungry masses to storm European borders,” Schmidt said. “It is unlikely that the ruling political elites of the EU do not understand what the failure of the grain deal threatens them with, but apparently they do not care at all about the impending hunger and the further flooding of Europe with migrants.”

The German lawmaker added that today Europe, and especially Germany, is not independent in its foreign policy and acts only in the interests of “external forces, which has an extremely negative effect on the state of affairs in Germany itself. As several key European nations, including Germany, France, Italy, the Netherlands and Austria, have already called on Russia to restore its participation in the grain initiative, the expert called on them to take responsibility on their behalf for the suspension of the agreement as Russia’s concerns have not been met.

Putin grain
https://twitter.com/i/status/1681738877059432450

Read more …

I’m running out of words…

Julian Assange Is ‘Dangerously Close’ to Extradition (Cohn)

Article 4(3) of the Extradition Treaty forbids extradition if the request was “politically motivated.” The legally unprecedented and selective nature of the prosecution in focusing on leaked national security information speaks to the political character of the prosecution and request for extradition, the appeal says. Assange’s lawyers wrote that “this prosecution is motivated by matters other than the proper and usual pursuit of criminal justice. It is motivated instead by a concerted intent to destroy or inhibit the publishers of evidence of state criminal ability, and thereby put a stop to the process of investigating, prosecuting and preventing such international crimes in the future.”


The appeal papers point out that Assange is being prosecuted for exposing “wholescale abuse and war crimes” committed by the United States. If instead he had “exposed war crimes or crimes against humanity committed by a state such as the Russian Federation,” the defense lawyers write, “there can be no doubt that his prosecution for such revelations would be regarded as both a political offence (within the Treaty) and an impermissible prosecution motivated by a desire to punish him for his political opinions/acts.”

“While the leakers of such materials have been prosecuted albeit selectively, no prosecution for the act of obtaining or publishing state secrets has ever occurred,” the appeal says. That is “[b]ecause the First Amendment protects the free press and it is vital that the press expose rather than ignore … not because journalists are somehow privileged but because the citizenry has a right to know what is going on,” Mark Feldstein, journalism professor at University of Maryland, testified at Assange’s extradition hearing.

Article 10 of the ECHR protects freedom of expression. Columbia law professor Jameel Jaffer testified that the indictment is focused “almost entirely” on things that national security journalists do “routinely and as a necessary part of their work,” including “cultivating sources, communicating with them confidentially, soliciting information from them, protecting their identities from disclosure, and publishing classified information.” The conviction of Assange would chill journalists from fulfilling their function as watchdog for the public. The appeal quotes the 1996 case of Goodwin v. the United Kingdom:

Press freedom assumes even greater importance in circumstances in which State activities and decisions escape democratic or judicial scrutiny on account of their confidential or secret nature. The conviction of a journalist for disclosing information considered to be confidential or secret may discourage those working in the media from informing the public on matters of public interest. As a result, the press may no longer be able to play its vital role as “public watchdog” and the ability of the press to provide accurate and reliable information may be adversely affected.

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Plimer

 

 

 

 

Barbie

 

 

 

 

Support the Automatic Earth in virustime with Paypal, Bitcoin and Patreon.

 

 

 

 

 

May 222023
 
 May 22, 2023  Posted by at 8:45 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , ,  39 Responses »


Piet Mondriaan Mill 1905

 

Ukraine Claims It’ll ‘Win War’ After Getting F-16s (RT)
US Approval Of Crimea Strikes Proves Lack Of Interest In Peace – Envoy (TASS)
Trump’s Victory Would Be ‘The End Of Ukraine’ – Hillary Clinton (RT)
Zelensky Compares Artyomovsk To Hiroshima (RT)
Destruction Of Both Hiroshima, Artyomovsk Led By White House – Zakharova (TASS)
How Russia Forced Ukrainians To Retreat From Artyomovsk (RT)
Lula Says Zelensky Didn’t Show Up To Scheduled Meeting (RT)
Durham Report: Clinton, Not Trump, Colluded With Russians – Hanson (Fox)
The Durham Report Indicts the Deep State—and the Media (RCI)
EU ‘Offer’ To Global South Must Be Better Than China’s – Ursula (RT)
Hunter Biden Faces Call for the Appearance of Key Business Associates (Turley)
White House Blasts GOP Over Debt Ceiling Talks (RT)
Biden Thinks He Has Authority To Use 14th Amendment On Debt Ceiling (Hill)
DE-Dollarization Made Simple -Even For Millennials (Vilches)
Greece’s Debt Is More Unsustainable Than Ever (Varoufakis)

 

 

 

 

Biden 100k
https://twitter.com/i/status/1660240874851168259

 

 

 

 

Conyers

 

 

 

 

Nobody is safe

 

 

 

 

CoronaThrax

 

 

 

 

The sudden rush into the 50-year old F-16s shows us just how badly Ukraine is losing.

Ukraine Claims It’ll ‘Win War’ After Getting F-16s (RT)

F-16 fighter jets could become a game changer in the ongoing conflict between Moscow and Kiev, a spokesman for the Ukrainian Air Force Command, Yury Ignat, claimed in remarks to Ukraine’s Espreso TV broadcaster on Saturday. “When [we] have F-16, we will win this war,” Ignat said, adding that Kiev has repeatedly told its Western backers that the air defense systems it has already obtained from the West are insufficient to protect all of Ukraine’s territory against Russian air strikes. “The territory of the country and the length of the state border are big and the frontline … is over 2,500 kilometers [long],” the Air Force spokesman said, counting Ukraine’s border with Belarus, its Black Sea shores, and the border with Moldova’s breakaway region of Transnistria as parts of the “frontline.”

It would be impossible to cover such an expanse with air defense systems, Ignat maintained. He also said that the US-made F-16 fighter jets would become “a part of the air defenses” and would be used in areas not covered by the ground-based systems. The Air Force spokesman also admitted that the Soviet-made jets that Ukraine has been using until now cannot effectively counter Russian unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) and cruise missiles. He said that Kiev also plans to use the US-made jets in offensive operations and that the aircraft would significantly increase the effectiveness of anti-radar HARM missiles and JDAM precision-guided munitions, which Western nations have already handed over to Ukraine. Ukraine would also use the F-16s to strike the command centers and logistical networks of Russian forces, Ignat said, adding that such attacks would allow Kiev to “quickly” seize territories that it considers “occupied” by Russia.

His words came just days after Washington said it would support a joint program to train Ukrainian pilots on modern jets such as F-16s and would allow allies to transfer the US-made aircraft to Kiev. On Saturday, US national security adviser Jake Sullivan told journalists that President Joe Biden had “informed his G7 counterparts” that Washington would let its Western allies supply advanced jets to Ukraine. Moscow blasted the decision as a “movement up the escalation ladder” that is “fraught with colossal risks” for the West itself. Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova also accused the US of “waging a hybrid war against the entire region” and of using Ukrainian territory to achieve its own goals.

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“..when US planes will take off from NATO airfields, piloted by foreign ‘volunteers’..”

US Approval Of Crimea Strikes Proves Lack Of Interest In Peace – Envoy (TASS)

Washington’s approval of Ukraine’s strike on Crimea with Western weapons indicates that the US has no interest in peace, Russian Ambassador to Washington Anatoly Antonov said Sunday. “Washington has totally bent G7 members to its will in regards to the conflict in Ukraine. Moreover, it has seriously tightened its approaches on two important issues. I am referring to the handover of F-16 planes to the Kiev regime, as well as unconditional approval of strikes on Crimea with American and other Western weapons. Such steps once again make it clear that the US has never been interested in peace,” he said. The envoy added that Russia will view strikes on Crimea “as an attack on any other region of the Russian Federation,” and called on the US to consider potential response measures from Russia.


Antonov also pointed out that Ukraine lack infrastructure to use F-16 planes, as well as the required number of pilots and maintenance crews. According to Antonov, all this raises concerns about NATO’s future involvement in the conflict “when US planes will take off from NATO airfields, piloted by foreign ‘volunteers’,” he said. Earlier, US President Joe Biden told his Ukrainian counterpart Vladimir Zelensky on the sidelines of the G7 summit in Hiroshima that the US and its allies will start training Ukrainian pilots in use of F-16 fighter. Previously, US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan said that the US and its allies will discuss which states exactly will send F-16 planes to Ukraine. He also noted that F-16s are not on the list of priority shipments for preparation of Kiev’s counteroffensive.

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“..the end of democracy in the United States” and the “end of Ukraine..”

Trump’s Victory Would Be ‘The End Of Ukraine’ – Hillary Clinton (RT)

If ex-US President Donald Trump is re-elected in 2024, it would be the downfall of both Ukraine and democracy in America, former Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton warned on Saturday. Speaking to the Financial Times, Clinton, who served as secretary of state under Barack Obama and lost to Trump in the 2016 election, said she does not believe that her former rival will be successful this time. However, she claimed that if Trump does win in 2024, it will be “the end of democracy in the United States” and the “end of Ukraine,” as he will withdraw the country from NATO. Clinton went on to say that Russian President Vladimir Putin believed Trump would do so had he won the 2020 election. “Trump was the gift that kept giving to people like [Chinese leader Xi Jinping] and Putin,” she said, accusing him of being “enamored of authoritarians” and “inept in any kind of strategic approach to China.” She added that Trump was “clearly going to do whatever Putin wanted on NATO.”


Clinton also said she once believed that China was preparing to “make [a] move against Taiwan” within a few years, but the Ukraine conflict discouraged Beijing from attempting to reclaim the island, which it regards as part of its sovereign territory. She went on to address widespread concerns that the current president, Joe Biden, 80, who confirmed that he would run again in late April, is too old for the job. While acknowledging that age is “an issue,” she urged voters to compare him to the man he is running against. Trump, who announced last November that he would run again in 2024, has been critical of Biden’s approach to the Ukraine conflict. In January, he claimed that the president “is systematically, but perhaps unknowingly, pushing us into what could soon be World War III.” Trump has described himself as the “only candidate” capable of stopping the US from sliding into a global conflict, promising he would settle the conflict in Ukraine “very quickly” if elected.

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And why not? Anything goes.

Zelensky Compares Artyomovsk To Hiroshima (RT)

The devastation left by the months-long battle for the Donbass city of Artyomovsk is reminiscent of the destruction resulting from the US nuclear bombing of Hiroshima, Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky told journalists on Sunday while attending the G7 summit hosted by the Japanese city. “The photos of Hiroshima remind me of Bakhmut,” said Zelensky, using the Ukrainian name of the city. He laid wreaths at the memorial to the victims of the atomic bombing in Hiroshima during his visit. “Absolute total destruction. There is nothing, there are no people,” he said, adding that “all the buildings are destroyed” in the city captured by Russia over the weekend. The Russian Defense Ministry confirmed seizing Artyomovsk late on Saturday.

On Sunday, Russian President Vladimir Putin congratulated Wagner fighters and the servicemen of the regular Russian Army for successfully taking the city. Kiev continues to deny losing control of it. Zelensky himself sent mixed signals about the situation on the ground. Early on Sunday, he said the city “is only in our hearts” when asked if Ukraine still controls Artyomovsk. Later, he denied the city was “occupied by Russia.” Russian businessman Evgeny Prigozhin, the founder of the Wagner Group private military company, told journalists on Sunday that “no Ukrainian fighters had been left” in Artyomovsk. The US nuclear bombing of Hiroshima killed between 70,000 and 80,000 civilians, or around 30% of the city’s population at that time, according to various estimates. Another 70,000 people were injured. The blast also killed an estimated 20,000 Japanese military personnel.

The ‘Little Boy’ bomb that exploded about 580 meters above the city right over the Shima Surgical Clinic destroyed everything within a some 1.6-kilometer radius from the center of the blast. It also caused a massive blaze that engulfed 11 square kilometers. According to Japanese officials, almost 70% of the city’s buildings were destroyed. The salt-mining city of Artyomovsk had been the scene of intense fighting for some eight months as Russian forces gradually pushed Ukrainian troops out. The city, which spreads over some 41.6 square kilometers, was largely destroyed in the process. In 2017, the total population of Artyomovsk amounted to just over 71,000 people. Most residents were evacuated before the battle began or earlier in the fighting. However, according to the International Committee of the Red Cross, some 10,000 people were still living in the city in late March. Kiev also stated that the battle for Artyomovsk claimed the lives of some 4,000 civilians. Russia did not comment on these estimates.

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Zakharova has the real link between the two..

Destruction Of Both Hiroshima, Artyomovsk Led By White House – Zakharova (TASS)

Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova pointed out that both Artyomovsk (Bakhmut) and Japan’s Hiroshima were destroyed by the official Washington, commenting on Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky’s comparison of the aftermath of the nuclear bombing of Hiroshima to hostilities in Artyomovsk. She pointed out that the Ukrainian president “compared Hiroshima, destroyed by an American nuclear bomb to Artyomovsk” on the sidelines of the G7 summit in Japan. “Well done, because the White House orchestrated both things,” Zakharova said on her Telegram channel Sunday.

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A very lenghty timeline of a very lenghty battle.

How Russia Forced Ukrainians To Retreat From Artyomovsk (RT)

Nine months of battles for a symbolic site in Kiev’s attempt to regain control of the region have ended with another triumph for Moscow’s forces Screenshot from social media video= The battle for Artyomovsk (called Bakhmut by the Ukrainians) began in August 2022, and gradually turned into the epicenter of fighting between Russia and Ukraine. While other parts of the front remained relatively stable, both sides actively brought forces to this small city. For Kiev, which in May 2022 suffered a defeat at Azovstal that helped undermine its image, Artyomovsk became the new Mariupol. Ukrainian propaganda labeled it ‘the Bakhmut Fortress’, and attempted to give an air of heroism to those fighting there.

Despite the fact that the city has no strategic importance for advancing westward, Russian troops accepted the challenge posed by Ukrainian propaganda. So what did Moscow gain from the nine-month-long ‘Bakhmut meat grinder’? In the nineteenth century, Artyomovsk was a provincial town in the Russian Empire and the administrative center of the developing Donbass region. As other cities grew, however, its role became less prominent. By the beginning of the Russian offensive in February 2022, the city had a population of about 70,000. It was home to several industrial facilities including a sparkling wine factory where battles took place in early 2023. According to the Ukrainian authorities, by that time 60% of the city had already been destroyed.

The importance of the city grew tremendously after the start of Russia’s military operation in February 2022. Initially, when Russian troops broke the first line of fortifications in the area of Popasnaya, Zolotoye, and the Lisichansk-Severodonetsk agglomeration, Artyomovsk was an important transport hub. It kept the Ukrainian front line connected with the rest of the country. After the Russians managed to break this line of defense and completely removed Kiev’s forces from the territory of the Lugansk People’s Republic (LPR), Artyomovsk went from being a transport hub to becoming Ukraine’s second line of defense around the Bakhmutka River. This strip ran from Ukrainian positions opposite Gorlovka – since 2014 controlled by the Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) – in the south up to Seversk in the north, running straight into the Seversky Donets, the main river in Donbass.

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Zelensky knows where Lula stands. Peace. Negotiations.

Lula Says Zelensky Didn’t Show Up To Scheduled Meeting (RT)

Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva has said that his Ukrainian counterpart, Vladimir Zelensky, had failed to show up for a scheduled bilateral meeting during the G7 summit in Hiroshima, Japan. “I had an interview, a bilateral one with [Zelensky] here in this room at 3:15 pm. We waited and received the information that he was late,” the president, who is commonly referred to as just Lula, said on Monday, as cited by Reuters. He added that Zelensky “did not show up” because “clearly he had appointments and he couldn’t come.” AFP cited Lula as saying that he was “upset” that the meeting fell through. A face-to-face meeting with the Ukrainian leader was absent from the itinerary published by Lula’s office ahead of his trip to Japan.


However, Bloomberg cited unnamed Brazilian officials as saying on Saturday that the Brazilian delegation felt pressured to arrange a meeting between Lula and Zelensky, whose travel plans are not usually publicly announced in advance. Zelensky later told reporters that “everyone has their schedules, so we couldn’t meet with the Brazilian president.” The two leaders previously spoke over the phone in March. Lula has condemned Russia’s military operation in Ukraine, but refused to join Western sanctions imposed Moscow and declined to provide weapons to Kiev. He has stressed that the Russia-Ukraine conflict should be resolved through negotiations. “No solution will last if it is not based on dialogue. We need to work to create the space for negotiations,” Lula said on Sunday.

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How much longer till she’s indicted?

Durham Report: Clinton, Not Trump, Colluded With Russians – Hanson (Fox)

The Durham report suggests there are more questions about Hillary Clinton’s overtures toward Russian entities than former President Donald Trump’s, Victor Davis Hanson claimed. Hanson, a historian and fellow at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution, told “Life, Liberty & Levin” that Durham’s findings showed that “far from being a Trump-Russian connection, there was a Hillary-Clinton–Russian connection.” Hanson analyzed the findings, saying they showed Clinton was using a Moscow-based “source,” Democrat-linked PR executive Charles Dolan Jr., to collect purported intelligence on Trump. Dolan, who served twice as former President Bill Clinton’s Virginia state campaign chairman, was “feeding” information to Igor Danchenko, a Russian national working at the Brookings Institution at a time the thinktank was being led by Nelson “Strobe” Talbott, Hanson said.

Talbott, who also served as Bill Clinton’s deputy secretary of State, had been made privy to “briefings and inquiries on the development of the dossier” by Steele, according to a Fox News analysis by law professor Jonathan Turley. “Strobe Talbott… was introduced to Christopher Steele through Fiona Hill of impeachment fame, and the basic story mark was that they were fabricating everything in this dossier, and Dolan was trying to pass on rumors to Danchenko, who was corroborating with Steele,” Hanson said. In a 2019 Politico op-ed, Talbott notably claimed in-part, “[W]e already know that the Kremlin helped put Trump into the White House and played him for a sucker.”

Hanson said the purported “pee tape” — which supposedly was to have shown prostitutes urinating on a Moscow hotel bed at the behest of Trump to spite the Obamas, who reportedly previously slept there — was “all made up.” “[A]nd worse yet, the FBI knew it was made up, and yet they continued to pay Danchenko in hopes that he might find some credibility because they were using this material to get a FISA warrant to spy on [then-Trump campaign aide] Carter Page, and yet they knew that it was false.” “Even in the case of Steele, they offered him $1 million, apparently, if he could just reify or substantiate just one point and he couldn’t. So the FBI was knee-deep in it, and Durham suggests that they didn’t want to investigate Hillary or monitor her communications,” he said.

The reason the feds didn’t probe Clinton as they had Trump, he surmised, was because they were certain she was soon to be elected president. “And they were terrified that anybody, I guess, who would concoct such a conspiracy might do the same to them if she was in the White House,” he said. “So it’s damning to the FBI. It’s damning to the Hillary Clinton campaign. It’s damning to the media, because it’s all out there and then nobody’s refuted it… it really shows that Hillary Clinton colluded with the Russian government through intermediaries, and the FBI knew about it and blamed Donald Trump, who was innocent of it.”

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“..Russiagate’s aim from the jump was to delegitimize, destabilize, and destroy Donald Trump’s presidency..”

The Durham Report Indicts the Deep State—and the Media (RCI)

Russiagate’s aim from the jump was to delegitimize, destabilize, and destroy Donald Trump’s presidency. Hatched by the Hillary Clinton campaign, this would be her revenge for losing to Trump—an attempt to make his victory a Pyrrhic one. This would be the deep state’s way to sabotage and subvert a commander in chief who threatened to upend its agenda, and that of the entire political establishment. Neither fidelity to the law and truth, nor any sense of shame, nor any fear of consequences could temper the zealous would-be vanquishers of the “bad orange man.” We know this because, as Durham’s report spells out, and as even casual observers have long been aware, the story of Trump-Russia collusion was a farce from the very beginning and in virtually every respect.

It was born of hearsay, ludicrous innuendo, and laughable inferences. Its sources were biased, unscrupulous, and shady. The investigators acted corruptly, lawlessly, and violated basic practices and time-honored norms in pursuing a probe of the highest stakes. They could not corroborate the key pillars on which they “built” their “case” and covered their eyes and ears in the face of exculpatory evidence at every turn. The lack of due diligence and carelessness is staggering—if you were to assume the FBI and Justice Department were operating in good faith. Despite the glaring deficiencies in their case and the blatant violation of the rights of innocent Americans, including among them true patriots, nothing would slow them down.

It did not have to be this way. Were American journalists at our nation’s most storied publications adversaries of the ruling class rather than its stenographers—had they even a modicum of skepticism, curiosity, or intellectual honesty, they could have stepped in to defend our republic. They could have exposed one of the greatest scandals in American history: that our national security and law enforcement apparatus effectively sought to halt the transfer of power to a president they feared and loathed by pursuing him as a traitor, based on crackpot conspiracy theories borne of his political opponent’s research. Consider Gen. Michael Flynn’s purported Logan Act violations; George Papadopoulos’ comments to an Australian diplomat; Carter Page’s supposed Russian ties; the contents of the Steele dossier; Sergei Millian’s significance; the secret Alfa Bank back channel to Russia. The list of shoddy stories pertaining to purported Russian collusion is virtually endless, and as the Durham Report shows—as did reporting from independent, contrarian journalists at the time—such stories would fall apart under the slightest scrutiny.

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EU and G7 are 10 years late. Or is that 20? Africa, Latin America, Central Asia, they’ve lost it all. And they’re so full of hubris they never even noticed.

EU ‘Offer’ To Global South Must Be Better Than China’s – Ursula (RT)

The EU needs to offer a real alternative to China’s economic projects for the countries of the Global South, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said on Saturday. The EU and likeminded nations must use the “window of opportunity” as “many countries of the Global South are looking for alternative funding options,” she said at the G7 summit in Japan’s Hiroshima. Von der Leyen claimed that China’s Belt and Road Initiative – a global infrastructure investment strategy unveiled ten years ago – has been losing its appeal because many countries had “bad experiences with China.” “They took Chinese loans and ended up in a debt crisis,” the EU official stated, adding that the European bloc and the G7 must fill the void.


“We want to put a better offer on the table. If we are in a race, we are in a race to the top,” von der Leyen said. She added that the EU is rolling out 90 “flagship projects” on different continents as part of its Global Gateway investment scheme. Von der Leyen’s words came as G7 countries adopted a joint statement that accused Beijing of “economic coercion” and technology theft. China, in turn, has repeatedly accused G7 members of abusing trade regulations in order to impose their will on others. Beijing has also denied claims that the Belt and Road project hurts other nations. “The so-called Chinese debt trap is a lie made up by the US and some other Western countries,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said last year.

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“On the list are business partners who are connected to millions of dollars acquired from foreign interests in China, Ukraine and other countries…”

Hunter Biden Faces Call for the Appearance of Key Business Associates (Turley)

There is a new and interesting development in Arkansas where attorneys for Lunden Alexis Roberts have prepared a list of witnesses for the upcoming proceedings involving Hunter Biden’s daughter, Navy. As previously discussed, Hunter Biden is seeking to reduce child support payments and has balked at Navy being able to use the Biden name. If successful, this could get a lot worse for Hunter in his allegedly efforts to conceal his past incomes. On the list are business partners at the center of the influence peddling scandal. (Thank you to the reader who sent this possibly prophetic intersection picture). On the list are business partners who are connected to millions of dollars acquired from foreign interests in China, Ukraine and other countries. Also on the list is New York City art gallery owner Georges Bergès who continues to sell his art.

Bergès has reportedly pushed back on congressional efforts to reveal details on these proceeds and buyers even though former government ethicists have raised concerns over the sales. The costs of these proceedings and high-priced legal team would seem to undermine claims of financial distress by Biden. However, by putting his financial worth at issue, Hunter has opened up a new front in battling over the disclosure of his past dealings. Some of his part associates are reportedly cooperating with House investigators in tracking foreign payments. Even the Washington Post has belatedly published an editorial admitting that this is all a serious concern over influence peddling. In an editorial titled “Millions flowed to Biden family members. Don’t pretend it doesn’t matter.”

It was a bittersweet moment for many of us who have been writing about these dealings for years as newspapers like the Post downplayed the scandal or the authenticity of the laptop. Media outlets like National Public Radio (NPR) declared NPR declared that it “not want to waste our time on stories that are not really stories, and we don’t want to waste the listeners’ and readers’ time on stories that are just pure distractions.” These disclosures have been forced into the public despite the best efforts of the Post and other media. Indeed, recently the Post’s Philip Bump derided the House investigation as a “fishing expedition . . . it’s nearly all innuendo, a big corkboard with lots of pictures but little interconnecting string.” His “witchhunt” attack was then repeated by others at the Post.

Despite these efforts, Hunter Biden appears to going his level best to force the issue in Arkansas. It is not clear if the court will call any of these witnesses. However, since Hunter has put his finances at issue, some disclosures will need to be made. As for Navy, she is still uncertain if the court will allow her to use the Biden name despite her father’s efforts to the contrary. While it does not appear that Hunter (who lives in a California mansion) is financially broke, his actions (and those of the President and First Lady) toward this little girl show a moral deficit and delinquency that is abundantly obvious.

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MAGA?!

White House Blasts GOP Over Debt Ceiling Talks (RT)

The White House has hit out at a Republican congressional leadership it says has become increasingly beholden to fringe ‘MAGA’ elements for obstructing talks designed to raise the US debt ceiling and avoid putting the country into default for the first time in its history. In a statement posted to the White House website on Saturday, a spokesperson for the administration of President Joe Biden described a deal offered by House Speaker Kevin McCarthy on Friday as a “big step back” and said that it contained a set of “extreme partisan demands.” “The President has over and over again put deficit reduction proposals on the table, from limits on spending to cuts to Big Pharma profits to closing loopholes for oil and gas,” the statement from White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said.

“It is only a Republican leadership beholden to its MAGA wing – not the President or Democratic leadership – who are threatening to put our nation into default.” The proposal offered by McCarthy on Friday included significant cuts to domestic programs while increasing defense spending. It also imposed work requirements on some aid programs, while making it more difficult for states to waive work requirements for people in areas of high unemployment who rely on federal food assistance. The GOP deal also refuses Democratic requests to increase tax revenue to help pay for future budget deficits. “I’m not going to agree to a deal that protects wealthy tax cheats and crypto traders while putting food assistance at risk for nearly one million people,” Biden said on Sunday in comments delivered from Hiroshima, Japan, where he was attending the G7 summit.

Biden also accused Republicans of engaging in political theater in their handling of the negotiations to extend the debt ceiling. “I think there are some MAGA Republicans in the House who know the damage this would do to the economy, and because I am president, and the president’s responsible for everything, Biden would take the blame,” he said. Unless an accord is struck, the Treasury Department has indicated that the US could default on its $31.4 trillion debt as early as June 1. This would lead to a scenario where Washington is unable to borrow more money or pay all of its bills.

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“The idea hinges on a phrase in the 14th Amendment that says the public debt “shall not be questioned,” which proponents of the idea argue means the president could unilaterally continue to issue debt..”

Biden Thinks He Has Authority To Use 14th Amendment On Debt Ceiling (Hill)

President Biden on Sunday said he believes he has the authority to use the 14th Amendment to unilaterally address the debt ceiling, but he acknowledged potential legal challenges could still lead the nation to default if he went that route. “I’m looking at the 14th Amendment as to whether or not we have the authority — I think we have the authority,” Biden told reporters at a press conference in Hiroshima, Japan. “The question is, could it be done and invoked in time that it would not be appealed, and as a consequence past the date in question and still default on the debt. That is a question that I think is unresolved.”

Biden added that all four congressional leaders said in a recent White House meeting that they agreed the nation would not default, signaling that he hoped talk of the 14th Amendment would ultimately not be necessary. “So I’m assuming that we mean what we say and we’ll figure out a way to not have to default,” Biden said. Sunday’s remarks were Biden’s strongest to date on the 14th Amendment, which has been a point of debate among legal experts and administration officials as the U.S. gets closer to the risk of default. The Treasury Department has warned the U.S. could default as early as June 1 if no action is taken to raise the debt ceiling.

The idea hinges on a phrase in the 14th Amendment that says the public debt “shall not be questioned,” which proponents of the idea argue means the president could unilaterally continue to issue debt if Congress does not act. Biden earlier this month said he had been “considering” the 14th Amendment as a way to unilaterally work around the debt ceiling, but he acknowledged that it would not be a viable short-term solution. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen previously warned that using the 14th Amendment could trigger a “constitutional crisis,” calling it “one of the not good options” if Congress failed to act.

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“This is happening now because the USA today no longer manufactures and/or renders anywhere remotely near enough products or services..”

DE-Dollarization Made Simple -Even For Millennials (Vilches)

Dollars are just failing I.O.U´s (more on that later) issued by the US which until today were still exchangeable for (1) goods and/or (2) services and/or (3) payment of debts the three of which could be either of US origin (that´s okay) or also from elsewhere (that´s NOT okay). In a nutshell, that´s what the current DE-dollarization process is all about, which translated means that US dollars will progressively be dumped onto the US economy´s front lawn as time goes by leading to an unstoppable hyperinflationary process. So, as we speak, many commercially and industrially, and technologically important economies (actually essential for the world and individual countries) have decided that transactions amongst themselves should be paid for in something different from US dollars as the USA is not involved in any part of such process.

Why would Argentina or Brazil export their grains to China payable in US dollars rather than Yuans while both need tons of Yuans to pay for Chinese imports? Accordingly, Saudis now allow China to pay for their oil in Yuans. So with growing impetus, many countries are now paying – and planning to pay in increasing quantities — for transactions amongst themselves with their own currencies and/or physical gold bullion which thru 6000 years of history has clearly proved that it has long-lasting intrinsic value in and of itself as accumulated labor duly acknowledged by third parties. So bullion´s role would be to compensate for the differences in the exchanging BRICS+ currencies used to settle import-export balances between non-US trading partners. BTW, the Central Bank of China does not waste any time reducing its exposure to US Treasuries now lowest since early 2010 and getting lower by the hour.

Since 2018 Russia holds practically 0 (zero) US Treasuries. This is happening now because the USA today no longer manufactures and/or renders anywhere remotely near enough products or services to cancel the humongous amount of IOU dollars already issued with total impunity. An “exorbitant privilege“ per former French President Valery Giscard d’Estaing´s brilliant definition many decades ago. The US deal is “you work hard as hell and we´ll just print” follow? You raise cattle till cows are fat and healthy enough to export us your beef – meaning years of investments and hard labor – and we´ll just copy-paste some more pretty Benjamins and hand them over to you in exchange, okay? Please be advised in case you didn´t notice that Walmart today does not carry “Made in USA” goods because everything now is most efficiently manufactured somewhere else.

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Ruling center-right won the Greek elections yesterday. They can now continue to sell off the country.

Greece’s Debt Is More Unsustainable Than Ever (Varoufakis)

Greece is deeper in the hole of insolvency today than it was in 2010, when the whole world of finance — the International Monetary Fund, the European Central Bank, and the European Commission — said we were bankrupt. Back then, our debt was something like €295 billion and our income €220 billion, whereas today the debt is €400 billion and our national income, in real terms, €192 billion. Most of our debt is owed to the troika and to foreign investors. So, our dependence on the kindness of strangers is greater than ever. Greece’s population today has, on average, 20 percent lower living standards than in 2010; if you look at the working class, the reduction of GDP per capita is 45 percent. As for private sector debt, around two million out of ten million Greeks have negative equity and nonperforming loans.

It’s a world record: it didn’t even happen in the US in 2008–09, during the subprime mortgages crisis. But how come I acknowledge that from the perspective of foreign investors, Greece is doing better than any other country? Well, government bonds are trading at 3.6 to 3.7 percent yields — a very nice spread over German ones at 2.2 to 2.3 percent. Everyone knows that the Greek state is bankrupt and the bonds are junk. So, why do they buy them? The European Central Bank (ECB) has announced that it will back Greek bonds. It’s a political decision to declare Greece solvent, just as it was a political decision to declare it insolvent in 2010. Christine Lagarde and her minions are making a nod and a wink to investors.

Why is the ECB standing behind bonds, when it didn’t in 2012 or 2015? Recent years saw a world first, a mechanism for extracting wealth from the bankrupt. The powers that be have instituted the so-called Hercules plan, taking bonds off the books of banks and selling them to vulture funds based in the Cayman Islands. They belong partly to foreign investors, partly to people who run the Greek banks, partly to the extended families of the political class. They can, for instance, buy a nonperforming loan of €100,000 but for just €3,000. They don’t expect to get the money back; but if they can sell the collateral for €50,000 they have extracted €47,000 in rent to the Caymans without paying a cent in tax. This can extract around €70 billion from a sub-€200-billion-a-year economy.

So, it may sound like a paradox that the financial press is hailing an economy whose public and private sectors are more bankrupt than ever. But seeing the gains foreign investors can draw from this situation, it is no paradox. Greece is a goose laying golden eggs: such profit rates don’t exist anywhere else. To boot, this Hercules scheme, passed by the Greek parliament, guarantees a minimum of €23 billion. The Greek state — and thus the ECB itself — stands behind the vultures’ interests, if they don’t manage to extract enough in dispossessions.

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Anne Heche
https://twitter.com/i/status/1660121425846435840

 

 

Thai ducks

 

 


The revenge of the duck

 

 

How?

 

 

Ibex

 

 

Cheetah
https://twitter.com/i/status/1660009782349111296

 

 

Lunch

 

 

 

 

 

 

Support the Automatic Earth in virustime with Paypal, Bitcoin and Patreon.

 

 

 

 

 

May 112023
 
 May 11, 2023  Posted by at 8:45 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , ,  31 Responses »


Henri Matisse Flowers 1907

 

House GOP Identifies 9 Biden Family Members Who Received Foreign Money (NYP)
FBI Refuses To Give Congress File Alleging Biden Took Bribes As VP (NYP)
Trump Says He Would Meet With Putin To Settle Ukrainian Conflict (TASS)
Trump Wants Both Ukrainians And Russians To ‘Stop Dying’ (RT)
Lula Offers To Act As Go-Between To End Ukraine Conflict At G7 Summit (TASS)
Borrell Says He Knows How To Stop Ukraine Conflict ‘Immediately’ (RT)
Ukraine’s NATO Accession Does Not Depend On Stoltenberg – Borrell (TASS)
Bold Gambits On The West Asian Chessboard (Pepe Escobar)
NATO ‘s Great New Idea: ‘Let’s Start A War With China!’ (Ron Paul)
Grain Deal To Be Extended Taking Into Account Russia’s Interests – Turkey (TASS)
US To Create ‘Free Syria Army’ Of Terrorists Against Damascus – Lavrov (TASS)
Young Americans Don’t Understand History Of WWII – Kremlin (RT)
Liechtenstein To Accept Bitcoin For Payments To State (RT)
Net Zero Grid Batteries Alone Would Bankrupt America (Rucker)
Julian Assange – A Fight We Must Not Lose (Chris Hedges)

 

 

In his CNN townhall last night, Trump left nothing standing of his hostile interviewer. While CNN’s handpicked audience applauded him throughout. They handed him the stage and he took it. All of it.

 

 

 

Nancy Mace

 

 

 

 

Ed Dowd

 

 

German farmers

 

 

Webb
https://twitter.com/i/status/1656544051833782273

 

 

 

 

Overpopulation

 

 

McLuhan

 

 

 

 

https://twitter.com/WinRussiawill/status/1656363220972765184

 

 

 

 

Watters

House GOP Identifies 9 Biden Family Members Who Received Foreign Money (NYP)

House Oversight Committee Chairman James Comer identified nine members of President Biden’s family Wednesday who allegedly received foreign income after teasing the bombshell for weeks. “Since you asked, I’ll tell you,” Comer (R-Ky.) told a rapt room of reporters at the Capitol after laying out new bank record evidence showing first son Hunter Biden received $1 million from a corrupt Romanian businessman while his dad was vice president. “Joe Biden’s son [Hunter], Joe Biden’s brother [James], Joe Biden’s brother’s wife [Sara], Hunter Biden’s girlfriend or Beau Biden’s widow [Hallie], however, you want to write that, Hunter Biden’s ex-wife [Kathleen Buhle], Hunter Biden’s current wife [Melissa Cohen], and three children of the president’s son and the president’s brother,” Comer said.

The chairman seemed to indicate that only one of Biden’s grandchildren and two of his brother’s children got the foreign funds. “We’re talking about grandchil — a grandchild,” Comer said at the press conference. “That’s odd, most people that work hard every day’s grandchild doesn’t get a wire from a foreign national.” James Biden has three children, including daughter Caroline, who pleaded guilty in 2018 to making over $100,000 in charges on a stolen credit card. Emails from Hunter’s abandoned laptop show Caroline turned up her nose at an $85,000 job offer that would have allowed her to serve her probationary period near her beloved cousin in California. Caroline’s siblings are James Biden Jr. and Nicholas Biden. The president’s other brother, Frank Biden, has two children, but Comer did not mention him and it’s unclear why Frank’s daughters, who reportedly work for NBC and as a nurse practitioner, would be involved.

A Comer aide told The Post it is possible that additional Biden relatives received foreign money. Bank records indicate $80,000 transferred from Romanian businessman Gabriel Popoviciu from 2015 to 2017 went to accounts identified only by the name “Biden,” for example — and a March memo from the committee indicated $70,000 from Chinese company CEFC China Energy did as well. Hunter Biden and first brother James Biden were well-known for years for seeking millions from nations including China, Mexico, Romania, Russia and Ukraine — but the involvement of other family members was only more recently alleged by Comer. The Oversight Committee issued a memo on Wednesday morning saying that Hallie Biden appears to have received $10,000 in early 2017 from Popoviciu — before receiving another $25,000 later that year as part of Hunter and James Biden’s partnership with CEFC China Energy.

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More power than Congress?

FBI Refuses To Give Congress File Alleging Biden Took Bribes As VP (NYP)

The FBI has refused to give Congress an informant file alleging that President Biden took bribes while he was vice president, The Post has learned — setting up a possible showdown over access to the information. House Oversight Committee Chairman James Comer (R-Ky.) issued a legally binding subpoena last week requiring the FBI to turn over the file by noon Wednesday, but the bureau instead replied with a six-page letter raising various objections. “Information from confidential human sources is unverified and, by definition, incomplete,” wrote FBI acting assistant director for congressional affairs Christopher Dunham, who also argued that informant reports must also be kept private to protect sources.

“As is clear from the name itself, confidentiality is definitional to the FBI’s Confidential Human Source program,” Dunham wrote. “Confidential human sources often provide information to the FBI at great risk to themselves and their loved ones. The information they provide also can create significant risks to others who may be referenced in their reporting.” The FBI official concluded: “We … hope this helps you understand that keeping this kind of source information free from the perception or reality of improper influence — and preventing the redirection of this information for non-law enforcement or non-intelligence uses — is necessary for the FBI’s effective execution of our law enforcement and national security responsibilities.”

Comer slammed the FBI’s stonewalling, but he did not immediately announce further steps to acquire the document. Congress has the power to apply financial pressure to agencies and can also use litigation to enforce its orders or attempt to shame officials through contempt votes. “It’s clear from the FBI’s response that the unclassified record the Oversight Committee subpoenaed exists, but they are refusing to provide it to the Committee,” Comer said. [..] The document subpoenaed by the Oversight Committee is an FD-023 informant report that was created or modified in June 2020-months before Biden won the presidency.

In a letter to Attorney General Merrick Garland and FBI Director Christopher Wray, Comer and Grassley wrote last week, “We have received legally protected and highly credible unclassified whistleblower disclosures.” “Based on those disclosures,” the Republicans wrote, “it has come to our attention that the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) possess an unclassified FD-1023 form that describes an alleged criminal scheme involving then-Vice President Biden and a foreign national relating to the exchange of money for policy decisions.”

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“If you say he’s [Putin] a war criminal, it’s going to be a lot tougher to make a deal to make this thing stopped..”

Trump Says He Would Meet With Putin To Settle Ukrainian Conflict (TASS)

Former US President Donald Trump said he would meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Ukrainian counterpart Vladimir Zelensky to end the conflict in Ukraine. “I don’t think in terms of winning and losing. I think in terms of getting it settled so we stop killing all these people,” he said during a CNN’s town hall program. Trump explained that if he was president, he would resolve the conflict within 24 hours. “Russians and Ukrainians, I want them to stop dying,” the politician said. “And I’ll have that done in 24 hours.”


Trump added that he considered Putin to be very smart. However, in former US president’s opinion, “Putin made a mistake” by launching the special military operation. He also pointed out that it was not the time to consider the Russian president a war criminal. “If you say he’s [Putin] a war criminal, it’s going to be a lot tougher to make a deal to make this thing stopped,” Trump said. He also added that it was something that “should be discussed later.”.

Trump

https://twitter.com/i/status/1656538428534652928

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“I don’t think in terms of winning and losing.” “I think in terms of getting it settled so we stop killing all these people..”

Trump Wants Both Ukrainians And Russians To ‘Stop Dying’ (RT)

Former US President Donald Trump has refused to say whether he favors a particular side in the Russia-Ukraine conflict, stating he would rather focus on ending the bloodshed altogether. Speaking for a CNN town hall in New Hampshire on Wednesday, Trump also insisted that Washington was giving too much ammunition to Kiev. Asked by CNN’s Kaitlan Collins if he wants “Ukraine to win this war,” Trump, who is campaigning for a second term in office, replied: “I don’t think in terms of winning and losing.” “I think in terms of getting it settled so we stop killing all these people and breaking down this country,” the former president said.


When pressed by Collins on the matter, Trump added: “They are dying, Russians and Ukrainians. I want them to stop dying.” He criticized the amount of military aid provided to Kiev by the Pentagon. “We don’t have ammunition for ourselves [and yet] we’re giving away so much,” he said. Trump also said he wanted Europe to “put up more money” for Ukraine and “equalize” its financial assistance compared to aid provided by Washington. Trump insisted that he would “have that war settled in one day” if he was president, promising to meet with presidents Vladimir Putin of Russia and Vladimir Zelensky of Ukraine if he gets elected in 2024.

Trump CNN

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Plenty offers. But they need to include China.

Lula Offers To Act As Go-Between To End Ukraine Conflict At G7 Summit (TASS)

Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva said on Tuesday that he plans to offer Brasilia’s services as a mediator for settling the Ukrainian conflict on the sidelines of the G7 summit, which is slated to be held in Hiroshima, Japan, later this month. Addressing a joint news conference with Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte, the Brazilian leader said, “The continuation of the war will only cause more deaths. So, we must find someone who would be able to discuss peace, and Brazil is ready for that.” Lula said that, prior to his relevant negotiations with Rutte, he had already discussed the issue with the Chinese president and the British prime minister, and that he would raise it with the president of Indonesia and many other leaders with whom he plans to meet at the G7 summit.

According to the Brazilian president, the situation in Ukraine, energy, battling climate change, economic development and the fight against unemployment are certain to be on the agenda of the G7 meeting in Hiroshima on May 20-21. “We have received multiple requests for bilateral meetings, and I am confident that the Ukrainian issue will be raised at every such meeting,” Lula added. And every side involved in the conflict has its arguments, he believes. While Ukraine is bound to resist what he called the unacceptable occupation of its territory, the EU has its arguments in favor of the decisions it has made, and Brazil and other countries have their reasons for trying to reach a compromise, the Brazilian leader said. Lula recalled that his country had condemned “the Russian military invasion” in a UN vote.

“Now is the time for diplomacy, not for war,” he emphasized. Earlier, Lula called Russia a guarantor of a long-lasting global peace and proposed developing a new international format for a potential dialogue between Moscow and Kiev, saying that he stands ready to mediate any direct negotiations between Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Ukrainian counterpart, Vladimir Zelensky.

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“Stop providing military aid to Ukraine and Ukraine [will] have to surrender in a few days.”

Borrell Says He Knows How To Stop Ukraine Conflict ‘Immediately’ (RT)

The conflict between Moscow and Kiev that has been dragging on for more than a year can be ended in just several says, EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell admitted on Spanish broadcaster La Sexta on Wednesday. It all depends on Western military supplies to Kiev, he claimed. “I know how to end the war immediately,” Borrell told La Sexta’s El Intermedio show. “Stop providing military aid to Ukraine and Ukraine [will] have to surrender in a few days. That’s it, the war is over.” the EU top diplomat presumed aloud. Borrell then said that it is not the outcome the EU and other Western nations would like to see. The bloc’s foreign-policy chief claimed that an immediate end to the conflict on such terms would see Ukraine “occupied” and “turned into a puppet country” that is “deprived of its freedoms.”

“Is this how we want the war to end?” he asked rhetorically. Borrell then blamed the continued hostilities on Moscow, saying that Russia has repeatedly insisted it would not stop until all the goals of its military campaign in Ukraine are achieved. He also criticized the peace efforts by China and Brazil, claiming these are detached from reality. “Everyone, who says they want peace should then say … ‘I want Russia to withdraw from Ukraine,” Brussels’ foreign-policy chief maintained, adding that he has little understanding for anyone thinking otherwise. “Those, who say: ‘I want peace and the best thing to achieve it is for the Europeans to cease helping Ukraine’ … frankly, I do not know what world they live in,” he said. Kiev promptly reacted to Borrell’s words, accusing him of having the “wrong emphasis” in his speech.

Withdrawal of Western military aid “could certainly not end the conflict immediately,” President Vladimir Zelensky’s aide Mikhail Podoliak said on Twitter. It would only lead to further escalation as hostilities would spill over to “other territories,” he claimed, without elaborating on his statement. Borrell’s words came less than a day after UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres also expressed his skepticism about Brazil and China’s peace efforts. Any mediation efforts would be in vain for now since both parties to the conflict are “fully involved” in the ongoing war, he told Spain’s El Pais on Tuesday.

The Kremlin said in late April it supported international efforts aimed at finding a peaceful solution to the conflict but still maintained that its goals in the conflict should be achieved. Russian President Vladimir Putin cited the need to protect the people of Donbass, as well as Kiev’s failure to implement the 2014-2015 Minsk peace accords, as reasons for launching Russia’s operation against Ukrainian forces in February 2022. He also said Russia was seeking the “demilitarization” and “denazification” of Ukraine. Moscow has also accused Kiev of making any potential talks senseless since Ukraine is demanding Russia surrender all the territories that joined it following referendums, including the most recent, in autumn 2022.

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“Maria Zakharova earlier slammed NATO’s statements about Ukraine’s possible future accession as short-sighted and simply dangerous.”

Ukraine’s NATO Accession Does Not Depend On Stoltenberg – Borrell (TASS)

A decision on Ukraine’s possible accession to NATO will be made by the bloc’s member states and not by its Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, the European Union’s High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell said in an interview with the La Sexta TV channel on Wednesday. According to him, Ukraine’s NATO membership “does not depend on the NATO secretary general but the NATO countries.” The EU’s top diplomat also emphasized that the issue “is not under consideration” at the moment. Stoltenberg pointed out earlier that NATO’s doors remained open to Ukraine. He also claimed that all of the bloc’s member states supported Ukraine’s accession but, in his words, it will only be possible to substantially discuss the matter after the conflict is over. Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova earlier slammed NATO’s statements about Ukraine’s possible future accession as short-sighted and simply dangerous.

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“The ultimate goal is to demilitarize NATO as a whole rather than just Ukraine, and so far, it appears to be working brilliantly.”

Bold Gambits On The West Asian Chessboard (Pepe Escobar)

The collective west appears to lack a decisive leader, with the Hegemon currently being “led” by a senile president who is remote-controlled by a pack of polished-faced warmongers. The situation has devolved to the point where the much-hyped “Ukrainian counter-offensive” may actually be the prelude to a NATO humiliation that will make Afghanistan look like Disneyland in the Hindu Kush. Arguably there may be some similarities between Russia-NATO now and Turkiye-Russia before March 2020: both sides are betting on some crucial military breakthrough on the battlefield before sitting at the negotiating table. The US is desperate for it: even the 20th century ‘Oracle’ Henry Kissinger is now saying that with China involved, there will be negotiations before the end of 2023. Despite the urgency of the situation, Moscow does not appear to be in a hurry.

Its key military strategy, as seen in Bakhmut and Artemyovsk, is to use a combination of the snail technique and the mincing machine. The ultimate goal is to demilitarize NATO as a whole rather than just Ukraine, and so far, it appears to be working brilliantly. Russia is in it for the long haul, anticipating that one day the collective west will have an “Eureka!” moment and realize it is time to abandon the race. Now let’s assume, by some divine intervention, that negotiations would start in a few months, with China involved. Moscow – and Beijing – both know they simply cannot trust anything the Hegemon says or signs. Moreover, the crucial US tactical victory has already been conclusive: Russia sanctioned, demonized and separated from Europe, and the EU cemented as a de-industrialized, inconsequential lowly vassal.

Presupposing there is a negotiated peace, it will arguably resemble a Syria 2.0, with a massive “Idlib” equivalent right on Russia’s door, which is something entirely unacceptable to Moscow. In practice, we will have Banderista terror outfits – the Slav version of ISIS – free to roam across the Russian Federation in car bombing and kamikaze drone sprees. The Hegemon will be able to switch the proxy war on and off at will, just as it continues to do in Syria, Iraq, and Afghanistan with its terror cells. The Security Council in Moscow knows very well, based on the Minsk farce acknowledged even by former German Chancellor Angela Merkel, that this will be Minsk on steroids: the Kiev regime, or rather the post-Zelensky regime will continue to be weaponized to death with brand new NATO gimmicks. But then the other option – where there is nothing to negotiate – is equally ominous: a Forever War.

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“We can only hope that America will elect a president in 2024 who will finally end NATO’s deadly world tour.”

NATO ‘s Great New Idea: ‘Let’s Start A War With China!’ (Ron Paul)

NATO’s post-Cold War history is that of an organization far past its “sell-by” date. Desperate for a mission after the end of the Warsaw Pact, NATO in the late 1990s decided that it would become the muscle behind the militarization of “human rights” under the Clinton Administration. Gone was the “threat of global communism” which was used to justify NATO’s 40-year run, so NATO re-imagined itself as a band of armed Atlanticist superheroes. Wherever there was an “injustice” (as defined by Washington’s neocons), NATO was ready with guns and bombs. The US military-industrial complex could not have been happier. All the Beltway think tanks they lavishly fund finally hit on a sure winner to keep the money pipeline flowing. It was always about money, not security.

The test run for NATO as human rights superheroes was Yugoslavia in 1999. To everybody but NATO and its neocon handlers in DC and many European capitals, it was a horrific, unjustified disaster. Seventy-eight days of bombing a country that did not threaten NATO left many hundreds of civilians dead, the infrastructure destroyed, and a legacy of uranium-tipped ammunition to poison the landscape for generations to come. Just last week tennis legend Novak Djokovic recalled what it felt like to flee his grandfather’s home in the middle of the night as NATO bombs fell and destroyed it. What a horror! Then NATO got behind the overthrow of the Gaddafi government in Libya. The corporate press regurgitated the neocon lies that bombing the country, killing its people, and overthrowing its government would solve all of Libya’s human rights problems.

As could be predicted, NATO bombs did not solve Libya’s problems but made everything worse. Chaos, civil war, terrorism, slave markets, crushing poverty – no wonder Hillary Clinton, Obama, and the neocons don’t want to talk about Libya these days. After a series of failures longer than we have space for here, DC-controlled NATO in 2014 decided to go all-in and target Russia itself for “regime change.” First step was overthrowing the democratically elected Ukrainian government, which Victoria Nuland and the rest of the neocons took care of. Next was the eight years of massive NATO military assistance to Ukraine’s coup government with the intent of fighting Russia. Finally, it was the 2022 rejection of Russia’s request to negotiate a European security agreement that would prevent NATO armies circling its border.

Despite the mainstream media and US government propaganda, NATO has been about as successful in Ukraine as it was in Libya. Hundreds of billions of dollars have been flushed away, with massive corruption documented by journalists like Seymour Hersh and others. The only difference this time is that NATO’s target – Russia – has nuclear weapons and views this proxy war as vital to its very existence. So now despite its legacy of failure, NATO has decided to start a conflict with China, perhaps to take attention off its disaster in Ukraine. Last week NATO announced that it will open its first-ever Asia office in Japan. What next, NATO membership for Taiwan? Will Taiwan willingly serve as NATO’s newest “Ukraine” – sacrificing itself to China in the name of blundering NATO’s seemingly endless appetite for conflict? We can only hope that America will elect a president in 2024 who will finally end NATO’s deadly world tour.

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“For President Tayyip Erdogan, extending the deal is a signal to the West that Turkey can be trusted. As a result, the government will do everything in its power to preserve the grain initiative..”

Grain Deal To Be Extended Taking Into Account Russia’s Interests – Turkey (TASS)

The grain deal is expected to be extended at the talks that started on Wednesday in Istanbul, taking into account Russia’s objections, a source in Ankara close to the talks told TASS. “There is information that the agreement will be extended beyond May 18. That’s why I’m talking about it as a fact. And there are expectations that the export of Russian products will be a part of it,” the source said. According to the source, extending the grain deal is a crucial issue for the Turkish leadership in the run-up to the elections and they will do everything in their power to make it happen. “For President Tayyip Erdogan, extending the deal is a signal to the West that Turkey can be trusted. As a result, the government will do everything in its power to preserve the grain initiative,” the source said.


On July 22, 2022, a package of documents on the supply of food and fertilizers to the international market was signed in Istanbul. Initially, the agreements were concluded for 120 days. On March 18, 2023, Russia announced the extension of the initiative for 60 days. The Russian Foreign Ministry noted that a further extension of the deal would depend on the reconnection of the Russian Agricultural Bank to the SWIFT system and the lifting of a number of restrictions on supplies, insurance and the use of ports. The Turkish side earlier said that the Turkish state bank Ziraat may be ready to carry out operations to pay for Russian grain and fertilizers. The negotiations between Russia, Ukraine, Turkey, and the UN on the extension of the grain deal and the implementation of the Russian part of the agreement on the supply of grain and fertilizers will last two days in Istanbul, with May 11 expected to be the key day of the negotiations.

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Well-known recipe

US To Create ‘Free Syria Army’ Of Terrorists Against Damascus – Lavrov (TASS)

The United States has set about creating a “Free Syria Army,” consisting of terrorists and militants, to serve as a tool against the legitimate government in Damascus, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Wednesday. “It’s no longer enough for the US to support the self-proclaimed Kurdish regions beyond the Euphrates River and flood the illegal armed units that they have formed with weapons,” the Russian foreign minister pointed out during four-party talks on Syria with his counterparts from Syria, Turkey and Iran. “According to our data, the Americans have started to create the so-called Free Syria Army near the Syrian city of Raqqa, engaging local Arab tribes, along with militants from ISIL (the former name of the Islamic State terror group, which is outlawed in Russia – TASS) and other terrorist organizations.


The goal is clear: to use these militants against Syria’s legitimate authorities in order to destabilize the situation in the country,” Lavrov noted. Lavrov emphasized that the Russian and Syrian militaries had recently discussed the issue, agreeing on a model of joint actions in that field. “I hope that all planned steps will be successfully implemented,” the top Russian diplomat added. According to him, Moscow believes that “blatant foreign interference in the region’s affairs is unacceptable, particularly when it involves military force;” and in this case, it is about “deploying foreign military units to Syrian soil.”

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Because 450,000 Americans died vs 28 million Russians.

Young Americans Don’t Understand History Of WWII – Kremlin (RT)

Younger generations of Americans no longer remember who fought against whom in World War II, and even middle-aged citizens are ignorant of the recent past, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov has claimed. Speaking to journalists on Wednesday, President Vladimir Putin’s press secretary said the lack of understanding of history among Americans was not merely “forgetfulness” but a “pernicious line” and warned of the consequences of such ignorance. “Not knowing the horrors of the past, not knowing who saved the world from the brown plague (fascism), means that soon in America there will be a generation that will be unable to soberly assess its present and its future,” Peskov said.

He noted that Russia, on the other hand, continues to do everything it can to keep the memory of the heroism of the Soviet people alive and make sure younger generations are aware of the true details of the war. Peskov also noted the presence of the leaders of former Soviet republics at the May 9 Victory Day parade in Moscow, suggesting that this demonstrated the political and social will of those countries to protect this history. “We will bring these truths to the people of the world, so that those who want to, can study the real facts [of WWII]” he said. His comments came after White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre attempted on Tuesday to describe Russia as analogous to Adolf Hitler’s Germany, and claimed that the “US and allied forces” were the ones who secured victory in WWII. Jean-Pierre also accused Vladimir Putin of having “promised only more violence” during his address at the May 9 parade in Moscow.

In his speech in Red Square, the Russian president denounced the “disgusting, criminal and deadly” ideology of Western supremacy and the globalists who “pit people against each other, split societies, provoke bloody conflicts and coups, sow hatred, Russophobia and aggressive nationalism, destroy traditional family values that make human a human.” Putin also claimed that the West had forgotten what “the insane ambitions of the Nazis led to” and who was responsible for defeating “this monstrous, total evil.” The Soviet Union did the lion’s share of the fighting in Europe, at the cost of 8.7 million soldiers and up to 20 million civilian lives. Victory Day marks the day on which the remnants of the Nazi regime officially signed their unconditional surrender to the USSR and Allied forces at the end of World War II. Although the document was signed in Berlin on May 8, due to different time zones, Russia has historically celebrated the event on May 9.

Zakharova

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Start small.

Liechtenstein To Accept Bitcoin For Payments To State (RT)

The government of Liechtenstein is considering accepting Bitcoin as payment for state services, the micro-state’s Prime Minister Daniel Risch told Handelsblatt on Sunday. Risch, who is also Liechtenstein’s finance minister, said that a “Bitcoin payment option is coming.” The official didn’t specify what particular services will become available for payment in the digital currency, or when the announced payment method would become available. Any crypto received will be immediately exchanged for Swiss francs, Liechtenstein’s national currency, Risch said. Although crypto is too volatile to entrust portions of the country’s multi-billion-dollar annual savings, that assessment could change, he added. Bitcoin would not, however, be accorded the same legal status as the franc. Liechtenstein is a German-speaking microstate located in the Alps between Austria and Switzerland. It is the world’s sixth smallest nation, with a population of under 39,000 people.


In 2019, the principality became one of the first places in the world to pass dedicated crypto regulations with The Liechtenstein Blockchain Act. Only two nations in the world have currently approved Bitcoin as legal tender – El Salvador and the Central African Republic. However, it was reported last month that the CAR has reversed this decision. There are still no uniform international laws that regulate cryptocurrencies, which are notorious for their high volatility. The most popular crypto, Bitcoin, was worth a fraction of a cent when it was launched in 2009 and shot up to nearly $69,000 per coin in November 2021. The rate has mostly been on a downward spiral since then, with the decline triggered by fraud allegations, government lawsuits and investigations, and general global economic instability. Bitcoin currently trades at nearly $28,000 per coin.

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Are we to believe they do not know this?

Net Zero Grid Batteries Alone Would Bankrupt America (Rucker)

Science and policy analyst David Wojick calculated that just the batteries needed to back up wind and solar electricity generation in a “net zero” USA would cost $23 trillion — America’s entire 2021 gross domestic product (GDP) — and probably many times that. Energy and technology consultant Thomas Tanton found that battery backup to replace current U.S. fossil fuel electricity — and convert vehicles, furnaces, water heaters, and stoves to electricity — would cost at least $29 trillion in initial outlays. Trillions more would be needed to cover financing, repairs, maintenance, replacements, burying broken and worn out non-recyclable equipment, and building systems strong enough to survive hurricanes.

Professional engineer Ken Gregory determined that grid-backup battery costs could reach $290 trillion (12.6 times the USA’s 2021 GDP), based on actual 2019 and 2020 hourly intermittent electricity generation data, rather than annual average data utilized in the other studies. None of these estimates includes the costs of turbines, panels, transmission lines, or transformers. Energy analyst Francis Menton estimated that New York’s plan to procure 24,000 megawatt-hours of battery storage would provide only 0.2% of what the state would actually need as backup. But even that would require 300,000 Tesla Long Range 80-kilowatt-hour battery modules — before New York mandates electric automobiles and home heating and cooking systems.

Each of those modules weighs over 1,000 pounds and holds 6,000 individual lithium-ion cells. Each one contains 25 pounds of lithium, 60 pounds of nickel; 44 pounds of manganese; 30 pounds of cobalt; 200 pounds of copper; and over 550 pounds of aluminum, steel, graphite, plastics, and other materials, energy analyst Ron Stein reports. To manufacture each module, we must mine 30,000 pounds of cobalt ore (much of it with child labor in the Congo), 5,000 pounds of nickel ore, and 25,000 pounds of copper ore, plus inject and extract 25,000 pounds of brine to get the lithium. Backing up New York’s peak summertime electricity needs for just 45 minutes (those 300,000 battery modules) would require 3,750 tons of lithium, 9,000 tons of nickel, 6,600 tons of manganese, 4,500 tons of cobalt, 30,000 tons of copper, and 82,500 tons of other materials.

Together, we’d need to mine more than seventy-five million tons of ores for those New York grid-backup batteries — after removing at least as much overlying rock to get to the ore bodies. Backing up California’s currently planned wind and solar electricity generation would require nearly 310,000,000 long-range modules. Imagine the batteries, materials, and ores that we’d need for the entire USA — or world!

True cost

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“Julian has spent much of his time in isolation, is often heavily sedated and has been denied medical treatment for a variety of physical ailments. He is routinely denied access to his lawyers. He has lost a lot of weight, suffered a minor stroke, spent time in the prison hospital wing — which prisoners call the hell wing — because he is suicidal, been placed in prolonged solitary confinement, observed banging his head against the wall and hallucinating.”

Julian Assange – A Fight We Must Not Lose (Chris Hedges)

The detention and persecution of Julian Assange eviscerates all pretense of the rule of law and the rights of a free press. The illegalities, embraced by the Ecuadorian, British, Swedish and U.S. governments are ominous. They presage a world where the internal workings, abuses, corruption, lies and crimes, especially war crimes, carried out by corporate states and the global ruling elite, will be masked from the public. They presage a world where those with the courage and integrity to expose the misuse of power will be hunted down, tortured, subjected to sham trials and given lifetime prison terms in solitary confinement. They presage an Orwellian dystopia where news is replaced with propaganda, trivia and entertainment.


The legal lynching of Julian, I fear, marks the official beginning of the corporate totalitarianism that will define our lives. Under what law did Ecuadorian President Lenin Moreno capriciously terminate Julian’s rights of asylum as a political refugee? Under what law did Moreno authorize British police to enter the Ecuadorian embassy — diplomatically sanctioned sovereign territory — to arrest a naturalized citizen of Ecuador? Under what law did former President Donald Trump criminalize journalism and demand the extradition of Julian, who is not a U.S. citizen and whose news organization is not based in the United States? Under what law did the C.I.A. violate attorney-client privilege, surveil and record all of Julian’s conversations both digital and verbal with his lawyers and plot to kidnap him from the embassy and assassinate him?


And Our Flags Are Still There – By Mr. Fish.

The corporate state eviscerates enshrined rights by judicial fiat. This is how we have the right to privacy, with no privacy. This is how we have “free” elections funded by corporate money, covered by a compliant corporate media and under iron corporate control. This is how we have a legislative process in which corporate lobbyists write the legislation and corporate-indentured politicians vote it into law. This is how we have the right to due process with no due process. This is how we have a government — whose fundamental responsibility is to protect citizens — that orders and carries out the assassination of its own citizens, such as the Muslim cleric Anwar al-Awlaki and his 16-year-old son. This is how we have a press which is legally permitted to publish classified information and our generation’s most important publisher sitting in solitary confinement in a high security prison awaiting extradition to the United States.


The psychological torture of Julian — documented by the United Nations special rapporteur on torture, Nils Melzer — mirrors the breaking of the dissident Winston Smith in George Orwell’s novel 1984. The Gestapo broke bones. The East German Stasi broke souls. We, too, have refined the cruder forms of torture to destroy souls as well as bodies. It is more effective. This is what they are doing to Julian, steadily degrading his physical and psychological health. It is a slow-motion execution. This is by design. Julian has spent much of his time in isolation, is often heavily sedated and has been denied medical treatment for a variety of physical ailments. He is routinely denied access to his lawyers. He has lost a lot of weight, suffered a minor stroke, spent time in the prison hospital wing — which prisoners call the hell wing — because he is suicidal, been placed in prolonged solitary confinement, observed banging his head against the wall and hallucinating. Our version of Orwell’s dreaded Room 101.

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Cold Outside

 

 

 

 

Vet
https://twitter.com/i/status/1656281389346480128

 

 

Pigeon loop

 

 

Mola mola

 

 

 

 

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May 092023
 
 May 9, 2023  Posted by at 9:17 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , ,  34 Responses »


Willem de Kooning Woman 1969

 

West Must Be Ready For Unfavorable Outcome In Ukraine – Czech President (RT)
Ukraine To Celebrate Europe Day Instead Of Victory Day (TASS)
Ukraine Cancels Traditional Holiday Celebrating Defeat Of Nazis (RT)
Kremlin Calls Ukraine’s Words On Readiness To Kill Russians “Monstrous” (TASS)
EU Plans To Punish China For Trade With Russia – FT (RT)
China Threatens EU With Countermeasures Over Possible Sanctions (TASS)
Türkiye Reiterates Stance On Russia Sanctions (RT)
Russia’s Deal With West Is Key To Ukraine Conflict End – Erdogan Aide (RT)
The EU’s ‘New’ Eastern Members Have Taken Control Of The Bloc (Sushentsov)
Eastern Europe’s Grain Producers Face A Perfect Storm (Az.)
New Weapon ‘Changing Course’ Of Ukraine Conflict – Telegraph (RT)
Something Is Rotten in Schmutzig Switzerland (Wright)
The Next Big Thing (Jim Kunstler)
Joe Biden Bribery Allegations First Brought To DOJ In 2018 (Devine)
‘Crazy thing’ – Lula Criticizes Imprisonment Of Assange (RT)

 

 

“Anyone who loves freedom owes such a debt to the Red Army that it can never be repaid”
-Ernest Hemingway, 1942

 

 

 

Tucker

 

 

 

 

CNN mask

 

 

 

 

Brownsville TX

 

 

 

 

Italy society
https://twitter.com/i/status/1655594159955234822

 

 

 

 

“..chairman of the NATO Military Committee between 2015 and 2018..“

West Must Be Ready For Unfavorable Outcome In Ukraine – Czech President (RT)

The conflict between Russia and Ukraine may not end in victory for Kiev, and its Western backers should prepare for such an outcome, Czech President Petr Pavel has told The Guardian newspaper. “I think we should do anything… at our disposal to encourage Ukrainians and to support them to be successful. But internally, we should also be ready for other contingencies,” said Pavel, who was in London for the coronation of King Charles III. A lot will depend on the outcome of Ukraine’s planned spring counteroffensive, explained the Czech leader, who has a background in intelligence and served as chairman of the NATO Military Committee between 2015 and 2018. Kiev shouldn’t “underestimate the Russians because they have enough manpower, they still have enough equipment,” he added.

“And of course, being in defense makes it easier for them because Ukraine will have suffered terrible losses, even if they are well prepared. So attacking an enemy like Russia will be difficult and Russians will not be caught by surprise.” The Czech president, who visited Kiev with his Slovak counterpart Zuzana Caputova in late April, said Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky had been asking them for ammunition. Those in Kiev believe they still don’t have everything they need to launch the counteroffensive, he added. There “might be a temptation to push them, for some, to demonstrate some results,” but the Ukrainians must be allowed to fully prepare for the assault on Russian lines, Pavel warned. “It will be extremely harmful to Ukraine if this counteroffensive fails, because they will not have another chance, at least not this year,” he stated.

In late April, Zelensky assured foreign journalists that the “counteroffensive will happen” and expressed hope that it would be successful. Ukrainian Defense Minister Aleksey Reznikov also said Kiev’s troops were “generally ready for the push” and were only awaiting orders from senior officials. However, a report by Politico a few weeks ago claimed that Ukraine’s prime backer, the US, had concerns that the impact of the counteroffensive could fall short of expectations. Russia, which has been building fortifications along the frontline for the past six months, has been saying that it’s ready to repel the attack. Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Galuzin warned last week that the counteroffensive would have “deplorable consequences” for Kiev.

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Shameful because:

• Russia liberated Ukraine too.

1.6 million Jews were executed in Ukraine

Ukraine To Celebrate Europe Day Instead Of Victory Day (TASS)

On Monday, Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky signed a decree on celebrating Europe Day on May 9 in the country. “[Hereby to] establish Europe Day in Ukraine, which is celebrated annually on May 9 together with the states of the European Union,” the text of the decree, published on the website of the Ukrainian head of state, says. In Zelensky’s video message, published on his Telegram channel, he also indicated that from tomorrow, Europe Day will be celebrated annually in Ukraine. On May 8, Zelensky proposes to celebrate the Day of Remembrance and victory over Nazism in World War II. For many years, the Ukrainian authorities have tried to eradicate the celebration of Victory Day.


Until today, on May 9, Ukraine celebrated the Day of Victory over Nazism in World War II, which replaced the Day of Victory over fascism in the Great Patriotic War of 1941-1945, and on May 8, Ukraine celebrates the Day of Remembrance and Reconciliation. These changes were approved by the Verkhovna Rada in 2015 as part of the implementation of the decommunization policy. Since that time, the red poppy has become a symbol of victory for the Ukrainians in the European manner. Although May 9 remains a day off, the Ukrainian authorities do their best to prevent the celebration of Victory Day. For the St. George ribbon, citizens face criminal or administrative liability. Last year, Zelensky and the Ukrainian Defense Ministry published a congratulation on May 9, attaching to it a photograph of a Ukrainian soldier with an emblem similar to the symbol of the SS Totenkopf division.

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“..Maria Zakharova branding Zelensky a “traitor” and the “new incarnation of Judas in the 21st century.”

Ukraine Cancels Traditional Holiday Celebrating Defeat Of Nazis (RT)

Ukraine may break the Soviet tradition of celebrating Victory Day on May 9 after President Vladimir Zelensky suggested holding commemorative ceremonies on May 8 instead. The idea was quickly slammed by officials in Moscow. In a message on his Telegram channel on Monday, Zelensky explained that his proposal was based on the fact that it was “on May 8 that most nations of the world remember the greatness of the victory over the Nazis.” He added that the German Third Reich’s unconditional surrender was signed on that day. Zelensky said he had submitted a bill to the country’s parliament which, if passed, would officially designate May 8 as the ‘Day of Remembrance and Victory over Nazism in the Second World War of 1939-1945’.

As for May 9, which is when Victory Day was traditionally celebrated in the Soviet Union, Zelensky declared this would now be observed as Europe Day, as it is in the European Union. He expressed confidence that the changes would help align Ukraine with Europe and return to “honest history without ideological admixtures to our state.” According to the proposed bill, May 9 would cease to be a public holiday, while May 8 would become one. The Ukrainian President also compared modern day Russia to Nazi Germany, saying it represented a “similar evil” and insisting Ukraine would prevail in its conflict against Moscow in the end. Lawmakers in the Verkhovna Rada have already indicated their readiness to quickly adopt the new piece of legislation promptly.

The head of the ruling party’s parliamentary group, David Arakhamia, wrote on his Telegram channel on Monday that he and his colleagues would begin working to “speedily adopt” the bill. The move has been condemned in Russia, with Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova branding Zelensky a “traitor” and the “new incarnation of Judas in the 21st century.” In a post on her Telegram channel, the official argued that the Ukrainian president had “forever betrayed his ancestors,” who fought against the Nazis. “Fascist collaborator 80 years later,” she concluded. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov, said he believed May 9 would remain a sacred day for many Ukrainians no matter what.

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“This statement by Mr. Budanov once again confirms the correctness of President Putin’s decision to launch a special military operation..”

Kremlin Calls Ukraine’s Words On Readiness To Kill Russians “Monstrous” (TASS)

Statements by the Ukrainian authorities about their readiness to “kill Russians around the world” indicate that Kiev has become not just a sponsor, but an immediate organizer of terrorist acts, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters on Monday. He was commenting on the corresponding statement of the head of the Main Intelligence Directorate of the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine Kirill Budanov. “This is a truly monstrous statement. This statement, and what Mr. Budanov said, is a direct confirmation that the Kiev regime is not just sponsoring terrorist activity, but is an immediate organizer of this activity. This statement gives another very important characteristic of the Kiev regime,” the Kremlin spokesman said.


He stressed that Russia strongly condemns such statements. “We have special services that will do everything they must amid such statements. No one should have any doubts about this,” the Kremlin spokesman warned. Kremlin believes that the West should not disregard such statements. “Today we will closely monitor the reaction of European capitals, as well as Washington – especially Washington – because it is very difficult to imagine that such terrorist statements from Kiev can remain without condemnation. Therefore, today we will wait for these condemnations,” Peskov said. “This statement by Mr. Budanov once again confirms the correctness of President Putin’s decision to launch a special military operation,” he added.

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More sanctions. They haven’t learned a thing.

EU Plans To Punish China For Trade With Russia – FT (RT)

The European Union is seeking to tighten the economic screws on Russia by sanctioning Chinese companies that conduct trade with Moscow, the Financial Times reported on Sunday. Seven Chinese businesses have been named in a new package of restrictions that the EU member states will discuss this week, the report says, citing a copy of the sanctions list seen by the paper. According to the FT, the list includes two mainland Chinese companies, 3HC Semiconductors and King-Pai Technology, and five from Hong Kong, including Sinno Electronics, Sigma Technology, Asia Pacific Links, Tordan Industry, and Alpha Trading Investments.

The businesses have reportedly been accused of selling equipment that could be used by Moscow in weapons manufacturing. Some of these companies have already been placed under sanctions by the US. The European Commission believes it is “appropriate” to target certain entities “in third countries involved in the circumvention of trade restrictions” against Russia, the FT quoted the sanctions proposal as saying. To take effect, the new sanctions need to be unanimously approved by all 27 EU member states. Until now, the FT noted, the EU has avoided targeting China, saying there was no evidence that Beijing was directly providing weapons to Moscow. The EU has so far imposed 10 rounds of economic sanctions against Russia over its military operation in Ukraine.

The EU’s chief diplomat, Josep Borrell, admitted last month that the bloc had nearly exhausted its options for punitive measures against Moscow. Since then, it has been reported that EU lawmakers are considering targeting third countries that re-export goods to Russia, thus helping Moscow to circumvent trade restrictions. China is insisting on a diplomatic solution to the Ukraine conflict, and proposed a 12-point peace plan in February, calling for the security concerns of each side to be addressed. Josep Borrell dismissed Beijing’s proposals last week as “wishful thinking” and insisted that any peace plan must be based on Kiev’s demands.

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“..Beijing will be forced to resolutely protect its rationally justified legal rights.”

China Threatens EU With Countermeasures Over Possible Sanctions (TASS)

China will protect its interests in the event of EU sanctions against seven Chinese technology companies due to their supply of equipment to Russia, the Chinese Foreign Ministry’s spokesman Wang Wenbin announced on Monday. “If media reports turn out to be true, <…> such actions by the European side will seriously undermine mutual trust and cooperation between the EU and China,” he stressed at a briefing. When asked to comment on the information that seven Chinese companies could soon come under EU sanctions due to the supply of equipment to Russia he replied: “The European side should not make a mistake, otherwise Beijing will be forced to resolutely protect its rationally justified legal rights.”.

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“We are not going to join the unilateral sanctions imposed against Russia by the US and the EU. Our own benefit and prosperity come first..”

Türkiye Reiterates Stance On Russia Sanctions (RT)

Ankara has no plans to support the Western economic restrictions against Russia, foreign minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said in an interview on Monday. Türkiye’s top diplomat made the comments to the Lider Haber TV channel in the run-up to the country’s presidential and parliamentary elections, due to take place on Sunday. “We are not going to join the unilateral sanctions imposed against Russia by the US and the EU. Our own benefit and prosperity come first,” Cavusoglu explained, as quoted by the TASS news agency. The minister also criticized the opposition presidential candidate Kemal Kilicdaroglu, who has said he would give priority to developing ties with the West. According to Cavusoglu, the rival to incumbent president Recep Tayyip Erdogan has shown himself to be inconsistent in his statements; at one rally, Kilicdaroglu reportedly said that nothing would endanger the relationship between Türkiye and Russia.

Reports emerged in March of Türkiye blocking some transit shipments destined for Russia, in response to recent pledges by Brussels and Washington to enforce anti-Russian sanctions and to stop the supply of sanctioned products via third parties. Türkiye’s Ministry of Trade provided no official confirmation of the move. It was later reported that Ankara had resumed the transit to Russia of some sanctioned goods of European origin. The EU has repeatedly voiced concern about the country’s refusal to participate in Western sanctions against Russia, and accused the Middle Eastern state of becoming a ‘transit hub’ for Russia, thus enabling the economic blockade to be circumvented.

Ankara is one of Moscow’s main trading partners, with both sides having pledged to deepen economic cooperation and expand bilateral trade. Last year, Türkiye and Russia signed a roadmap for economic cooperation that envisages bringing bilateral trade turnover to $100 billion a year. The two have also agreed to introduce the Russian ruble as a settlement currency for bilateral trade, including for Russian natural-gas supply. Data shows that, around this time last year, Türkiye became one of the top five exporters to Russia. In 2021, it ranked 11th, ahead of the US, France, Japan, Poland and Italy.

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“This war will not end with positional gains, but with a new security agreement between the two global blocs..”

“This war is not between Russia and Ukraine, but between Russia and the Western bloc. Cold War 2.0..”

Russia’s Deal With West Is Key To Ukraine Conflict End – Erdogan Aide (RT)

The conflict between Moscow and Kiev is effectively a conflict between Russia and the collective West and so it can be resolved only by reaching a “strategic agreement,” Ibrahim Kalin, a top Turkish presidential adviser on foreign policy, believes. “This war will not end with positional gains, but with a new security agreement between the two global blocs,” Kalin said during an interview with Haberturk TV on Sunday. The official said he discussed the issue and Moscow’s stance on it with Russian President Vladimir Putin during his recent visit to Russia. While Türkiye itself has been working towards reaching the “perspective” of such an agreement, the current “international climate is in favor of war rather than peace,” Kalin admitted. “The great powers want this war to continue,” he added, without naming the purported pro-war actors.

The ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine has become a “hot” episode of a broader conflict between Moscow and the collective West, Kalin explained, describing the standoff as the“Cold War 2.0.” While Russia apparently tried to avoid hostilities when it tabled a comprehensive security agreement shortly before the conflict broke out, the West rejected it, Kalin noted. “This war is not between Russia and Ukraine, but between Russia and the Western bloc. Cold War 2.0,” he stressed. The position voiced by Kalin appeared to be reminiscent of statements repeatedly made by Russia’s top officials, who repeatedly described the ongoing hostilities as a proxy war between Russia and the West, merely waged at the hands of Ukrainians.

The stance was reiterated by Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov on Friday, with the top diplomat stating that any negotiations would not be held “with [Ukrainian President Vladimir] Zelensky, who is a puppet in the hands of the West, but directly with his masters.” Amid the broader conflict between Russia and the West, Türkiye has asserted itself as a mediator, with Ankara hosting peace talks between Russia and Ukraine early into the ongoing hostilities. While the diplomatic effort ultimately flopped, Türkiye continued its efforts, repeatedly urging both sides to return to negotiations, with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan stating that “even the worst peace will be better than war.”

Turkey S-400

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One member: Poland.

The EU’s ‘New’ Eastern Members Have Taken Control Of The Bloc (Sushentsov)

The Ukrainian crisis is giving rise to new strategic shifts. Alongside the shift away from a US-dominated world order, the conflict shows the emergence of a new balance of power in Europe that eludes the comprehension of Western analysts. At the heart of the new strategic situation in Europe is an “inflation of the influence” of Eastern European states that was unimaginable thirty years ago. In its current form, the European Union, whose development – both economic and political – has been driven for almost eighty years by the countries of Western Europe, has essentially lost its sovereignty. At the beginning of the 1990s, at the height of post-Cold War integration plans, there was a real possibility of forming a full European confederation: Western European countries were thinking about their own defense policy, separate from the US, and were planning to go down the road of creating some form of United States of Europe.

This would have greatly strengthened Western European autonomy, not only vis-à-vis the Americans but also in regards to Russia and China. This unique opportunity was never seized. On the contrary, Western Europe was tempted to expand virtually to the borders of Russia. And when this expansion took place, it suddenly became clear that the old European core had been eroded. In this context, the situation of Germany, one of the strategic drivers of Europe in the outgoing era, is revealing. Berlin has lost the initiative in foreign policy. German industry and German citizens have been condemned to spend three times more on energy than before. And this is combined with the fact that the Germans have long delayed real-wage growth in their economy. In reality, it was cheap Russian energy that made the German economy the main beneficiary of EU integration.

Now these foundations are under threat, because it’s no longer available. And so, soon it will no longer be possible to keep wages down. They will have to be raised to avoid a massive rise in social discontent. And this calls into question the viability of the German economic model. The Ukrainian crisis has led to a situation where the voice of Eastern European countries, and Poland in particular, is beginning to define Western European foreign-policy priorities. This situation is unique in modern history. Many historians have defined Eastern Europe as ‘Europe’s crossroads,’ making it a permanent battleground for competing empires. Today, the countries of Eastern Europe are not only gaining strategic influence but are moving to the forefront of European politics. Warsaw’s current priority is to transform itself into the EU’s largest military and to create a major counterweight to Russia on Polish territory in the event of Ukraine’s defeat.

Poland is creating points of tension for Russia all along its borders: military exercises on the border with the Kaliningrad region and maneuvers near the border with Belarus. All this shows that Warsaw wants to take the strategic initiative in the EU and could potentially become its main actor if the conflict goes beyond the territory of Ukraine. The deployment of tactical nuclear weapons on the territory of Belarus is a joint move by Moscow and Minsk that has a deterrent character and is intended to dispel illusions in Warsaw that Russia is not determined to maintain a balance of threats. It is possible that in the future the current crisis with the West will begin to resemble the mature years of the Cold War, with its system of mutual military deterrence.

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“If the grain corridor due to expire this month were to collapse, Ukrainian farmers would have little option but to send all their grain exports through eastern Europe.”

Eastern Europe’s Grain Producers Face A Perfect Storm (Az.)

When global grain prices started falling last year after a spike in the first months of the war in Ukraine, Poland’s then agriculture minister urged farmers to hang onto their harvests in the hope of a rebound and better returns.
The bet backfired badly for some. Nearly a year later, Polish farmer Artur Konarski still has about 150 tonnes of grain stuck in storage and he says some of his competitors in the European Union’s third-biggest wheat producer have even bigger stocks of crops languishing in silos. Farmers in Poland and other eastern European countries who held out for higher prices have been hit by a perfect storm. A jump in exports from Brazil and Russia helped to drive global grain prices lower while the EU opened its borders to tariff-free Ukrainian grain imports in a show of solidarity after Russia blocked the country’s Black Sea ports.

While the EU’s aim was to give Ukrainian farmers an outlet to ship grain and oilseeds to their traditional markets in Africa, the Middle East and Asia – and help ease a global food crisis – much has remained in Eastern Europe. With a dearth of local produce in Poland, millers and livestock producers desperate for grain turned instead to a flood of imports from Ukraine ferried into the EU by trucks and trains, grain traders and farmers said. Eastern Europe’s governments have pointed the finger of blame for its farmers’ woes at Ukraine, but Adrian Wawrzyniak, spokesman for the Polish Trade Union of Individual Farmers, said some of the region’s troubles were self-inflicted because farmers, encouraged by politicians, had hoarded crops. “This led to lower sales during the harvest and storage of cereals by farmers, the consequence of which they are paying for today with a reduction in income from the sale of cereals,” he said.

Local buyers had plenty of alternative supplies. After opening its borders to Ukrainian grain, Poland imported 2.08 million tonnes of maize and 579,315 tonnes of wheat last year, up from just 6,269 tonnes of maize and 3,033 tonnes of wheat in 2021. “Since the farmers did not sell, (feed and flour mills) just bought Ukrainian grain to have raw materials for current production,” said a Polish grain trader who declined to be named because he is not authorised to talk to the media. Despite being a staunch ally of Ukraine, Poland banned Ukrainian grain imports in April in response to furious complaints from farmers in its rural heartlands where support for the ruling Law and Justice (PiS) Party is strong. Hungary, Slovakia and Bulgaria quickly followed Poland’s lead, sparking a row with Brussels over trade policy and demands for compensation for their angry farmers from EU funds.

The unilateral import bans were lifted last week but only after the European Commission agreed to block sales of Ukrainian wheat, maize, rapeseed and sunflower seed within those four member states and Romania from May 2 until June 5. But the issue is unlikely to go away. Negotiations with Russia to extend a deal allowing some grain exports through three of Ukraine’s Black Sea ports to alleviate a global food crisis are hanging in the balance. If the grain corridor due to expire this month were to collapse, Ukrainian farmers would have little option but to send all their grain exports through eastern Europe.

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“..bombs fitted with wings..”

New Weapon ‘Changing Course’ Of Ukraine Conflict – Telegraph (RT)

Russia is using bombs fitted with wings to bypass Ukraine’s air defenses and pummel forces assembling for the much-heralded spring offensive, The Telegraph reported on Sunday. Kiev is citing this new development to once again demand F-16 fighters from the West. “Russia’s newest weapon is changing the course of Ukraine war,” the Telegraph headline proclaimed, referring to glide bombs such as the FAB-500. Kiev officials have estimated that the Russian Air Force is using at least 20 such bombs per day. Ukrainian Air Force spokesman Yury Ignat said the weapon has been used “intensely” for the past month, and described it as a “serious threat.” According to Ignat, the use of glide bombs means Moscow is “running low” on cruise missiles after “failing to take control of the skies over Ukraine.”

The Telegraph explained that the bombs outrange Ukrainian tactical air defenses, which have been moved to the frontline to support the much-anticipated offensive. Ignat told reporters last week that Kiev was powerless to stop the bombs and pleaded for the US and its allies to send F-16 fighters. He repeated that plea to The Telegraph on Sunday. “Just one or two would be enough to deter them, because the Russians would see that a couple of these things are in the air and they would avoid approaching,” he said. For several days in a row now, Russia has used cruise missiles and drones in waves of strikes on Ukrainian railheads, fuel and ammunition depots, and troop concentration areas for several days. Tactical drones have also been reported picking off Ukrainian air defenses along the frontline. Several US military experts have also noted the increased use of glide bombs recently, predicting increased Russian aerial superiority as Ukraine’s air defenses continue to deteriorate.

This poses a challenge to Kiev’s plans for a spring offensive, according to Justin Crump of the British intelligence consultancy company Sibylline. The troops and tanks brought up to the front line for the anticipated attack need to be scattered to avoid damage from the airstrikes, but would have to assemble very quickly once it is time to advance. “Dispersion and rapid concentration of force is vital in this environment,” Crump told the Telegraph. According to Western officials, Ukraine has put together at least nine NATO-trained brigades and several hundred armored vehicles provided by the US, UK, Germany and France, in preparation for a massive attack, speculated to be aimed at Crimea. Kiev has repeatedly postponed the offensive, however, citing weather concerns and equipment shortages, while Western governments have sought to manage expectations in case of its failure.

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“..had more than $100 billions in its assets so its financial balance was rather sound and particularly because it had more than $500 billion in passive capital such as real estate. Yet, recently it was sold for an obscenely low amount at about $3.7 billion..”

Something Is Rotten in Schmutzig Switzerland (Wright)

In a ‘business deal of the century’ brokered by the Swiss government, Switzerland’s largest bank and its financial pride and joy was acquired by its smaller rival USB for a meagre $3.2 billion. The current affairs sections of the leading news agencies have recently been populated by the breaking news that Credit Suisse had to be sold but to the lowest bidder this time or so it seems. Though this takeover deal, brokered in such a frantic haste over the course of just a few days by the Swiss government stands in silent testimony of this colossal collapse, there is a question hovering in mid air, why did Credit Suisse have to be sold so suddenly ‘at such short (banking) notice’, given that the giant bank has existed for 166 years with a superb banking tradition among other cutting-edge world banks?

If we want to answer this question, we need to bear in mind that the bank at the moment of its acquisition had more than $100 billions in its assets so its financial balance was rather sound and particularly because it had more than $500 billion in passive capital such as real estate. Yet, recently it was sold for an obscenely low amount at about $3,7 billion. But the real reason appears to have been the heavy pressure that the U.S. government exerted on the government of Switzerland that Credit Suisse, this steam engine of credit and paragon of superb banking reputation, had to be sold inexplicably urgently, sending shockwaves across the financial sector. A direct cause for this seemingly sudden decision was the previous collapse of two other banks: Silicon Valley Bank and Signature Bank (oddly enough, not many ordinary people had heard of those before their collapse) and an additional reason: a financial turmoil in the U.S. stock exchange.

Suddenly, a saying comes to my mind: ‘for everything there is a good reason and a real reason’. The real reason for the Credit Suisse collapse was found out a few weeks ago. Namely, the U.S. Senate Budget Committee was in session recently and one of the topics was Credit Suisse Bank. A layperson may wonder how come Credit Suisse has been (was?) targeted by the Budget Committee in the U.S. Senate? And why one part of the report adopted at the Senate Committee which the media managed to get hold of was literally blurred on the verge of illegibility. Apparently, the reason was the obstruction of the Credit Suisse Bank surrounding the investigation of the financial funds which had been deposited by the Nazis (yes, you’ve heard well, the ‘bad’ old Nazis) after the Second World War into the bank accounts of Credit Suisse and its legal predecessors: die Schweizerische Kreditanstalt and a number of other banks or smaller scale financial institutions.

However, this unyielding search for the Nazi money, the part of which originates from the property and gold which belonged to the Jews brutally murdered in the concentration camps during the Second World War, has lasted for quite a while. The investigation in question was first conducted by Volzker’s Commission, and then Bergier’s Commission and then from March 2020 by the already well known Simon Wiesenthal Centre, famous for hunting down the Nazis. Namely, only now have the broader public found out that in 2020 a full-blown administrative war of small proportions was waged behind the proverbial curtains between the Simon Wiesenthal Centre on one side and Credit Suisse Bank on the other, mediated by the independent ombudsperson and an independent advisor. The ombudsperson and the independent advisor were both appointed upon the insistence on the part of the Credit Suisse Bank.

The position of ombudsperson was given to Neil Barofsky, the former public prosecutor of the State of New York. Ira Forman, a special U.S. government envoy for monitoring and combating anti-Semitism was appointed to be the investigation advisor. The agreement between these two sides was kept in absolute secrecy related to the thorough and complete investigation of the Nazi funds allegedly deposited in Credit Suisse. But on the 21st November 2022, Credit Suisse flatly refused to cooperate further and definitely ceased collaboration with the Investigative Committee. In response to that decision, the Simon Wiesenthal Centre determined to come out into the public and expose the nefarious activities by Credit Suisse. Shortly afterwards, in April this year both the ombudsperson and the advisor submitted a report to the U.S. Senate Budget Committee.

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“..the president personally empathizes and identifies with the dead, encourages more Americans to become dead, offers cash incentives to hospitals that expedite death, and makes pharmaceuticals available — both legal and illegal — for inducing efficient transitions to the bliss of non-being.”

The Next Big Thing (Jim Kunstler)

Now that the charm has worn off the transsexual craze — the idea that a person’s emotional distress can be cured by identifying as the opposite sex — we await the next ploy out of the Woke Transhumanist game-plan to destabilize the human project on earth. People-of-color, brown, indigenous, Pacific Islander, gay, lesbian, plus-size, differently-abled, all women (of course), have taken their turn in the batting order of intersectional oppressed minority groups, and each has walked off with a participation trophy. Who’s left now? The dead! Their needs have not received sufficient attention. Inclusion has not come to them… yet. They are systematically kept out of all current activities and ceremonies. They are segregated in ghettos of grass and granite. The legal system stigmatizes them. Numerically, through human history, they are by far the largest demographic. Yet, they are routinely ignored, overlooked, disrespected. If anyone deserves to be Woked-up from the sleep of oppression, it’s them.

Don’t despair, a great grooming is underway. The next new thing will be for most of us to transition into the dead. Do you think it’s an accident that Hollywood has churned out zombie movies by morgue-full in recent years? Obviously, more and more Americans have come to identify as the walking dead. (And, judging by the behavior in our land, a lot of people’s brains have been eaten.) Even our businesses and banks have a walking dead kind of look to them. Our project in Ukraine has been a tremendous grooming aid in preparing people to become dead. But that experiment is nearly complete now. Hence, we must seek a much bigger global project for transitioning humanity into the satisfactions of being dead. A war with China would be the ideal grooming opportunity. They outnumber us about ten to one. They’ve developed hypersonic missiles that can deliver nuclear payloads anywhere in our country, with the potential of transitioning millions of Americans at a time.

And when they’re done with that, they can send an army over here to work the luckless survivors to death out in the soybean fields and the corn rows. Perhaps in anticipation of this, America elected (so they say) a president in mid-transition to being dead. “Joe Biden” is celebrated for staying mostly out-of-sight, underground, for speaking a dead language that resembles 20th century American vernacular English, for lurching one way and another, zombie-like, on his way off-stage in fleeting public appearances, and for taking large sums of money from Chinese officials who support America’s transitioning program. Best of all, the president personally empathizes and identifies with the dead, encourages more Americans to become dead, offers cash incentives to hospitals that expedite death, and makes pharmaceuticals available — both legal and illegal — for inducing efficient transitions to the bliss of non-being.

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“perverse that you report an allegation of a pretty serious crime and they don’t investigate [it] but they were investigating you.”

Joe Biden Bribery Allegations First Brought To DOJ In 2018 (Devine)

Explosive bribery allegations involving Joe Biden and foreign nationals were brought to the Department of Justice as early as 2018, two years before similar allegations against the president were made by the whistleblower now talking to the House Oversight Committee. Bud Cummins, a former federal prosecutor, first reported the bribery allegations to then-New York US Attorney Geoff Berman on Oct. 4, 2018, in an email claiming he had evidence that Joe Biden had “exercised influence to protect” his son’s Ukrainian employer “in exchange for payments to Hunter Biden, Devon Archer, and Joe Biden.” In the email obtained by John Solomon’s Just The News, Cummins said that Ukraine’s then-Prosecutor General Yuriy Lutsenko wanted to travel to the United States to meet Berman, and could produce two “John Doe” witnesses to corroborate his claims about the Bidens.

But Berman never responded to the email. Instead, in a move Cummins says seemed like “retaliation,” on Dec. 9, 2019, in the middle of impeachment proceedings against President Donald Trump, federal prosecutors secretly obtained data from Cummins’ iPhone with a grand jury subpoena to Apple. “I can’t really imagine a legitimate reason for the DOJ not to follow up on an offer like that. I felt like it was stonewalled,” said Cummins, formerly Arkansas’ chief federal prosecutor under President George W. Bush. “It doesn’t make much sense to investigate the guy who brings you the allegation rather than the allegation,” he said. When he received a notice from Apple last October telling him that his data had been accessed three years earlier, he said he found it “perverse that you report an allegation of a pretty serious crime and they don’t investigate [it] but they were investigating you.”

Cummins’ report was just one of a number of red flags raised with the DOJ between 2016 and 2020 about the Biden family influence-peddling scheme. The FBI has had Hunter’s abandoned laptop in its possession since December 2019, and Hunter’s former business partner Tony Bobulinski handed over the contents of his three devices and provided evidence of then-candidate Biden’s involvement in his son’s overseas business deals during a five-hour interview with the FBI days before the 2020 election.

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“It is an embarrassment that a journalist who denounced trickery by one state against another is arrested, condemned to die in jail and we do nothing to free him. It’s a crazy thing..”

‘Crazy thing’ – Lula Criticizes Imprisonment Of Assange (RT)

Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva has criticized the UK for its treatment of Julian Assange. He said the WikiLeaks founder has been imprisoned for his professional activities as a journalist and called on the government to release him. “It is an embarrassment that a journalist who denounced trickery by one state against another is arrested, condemned to die in jail and we do nothing to free him. It’s a crazy thing,” Lula told journalists after attending the coronation of King Charles III in London on Saturday. He also told reporters that Assange’s is a case of freedom of expression, adding that the Australian national is behind bars merely “because he denounced wrongdoing.” Lula also lambasted the media for failing to back their colleague.

Meanwhile, speaking to Australia’s ABC broadcaster from London on Thursday, the country’s prime minister, Anthony Albanese, argued that “there is nothing to be served” by keeping Assange behind bars. “This needs to be brought to a conclusion,” he stated, adding that Canberra is “working through diplomatic channels, we’re making very clear what our position is on Mr. Assange’s case.” Albanese, who has previously denounced Assange’s imprisonment on several occasions, acknowledged that the process is “frustrating.” On Friday, the WikiLeaks founder, who has been languishing in London’s Belmarsh high security prison since 2019, wrote a letter to King Charles III. Among other things, he invited the monarch to visit the facility. “As a political prisoner, held at Your Majesty’s pleasure on behalf of an embarrassed foreign sovereign, I am honored to reside within the walls of this world-class institution,” the journalist wrote.

Assange was arrested by British authorities after Ecuador revoked his asylum status and allowed the UK police to remove him from the country’s embassy in London. The WikiLeaks founder had been sheltering in the diplomatic mission’s premises since 2012. On the day of his arrest, the US Department of Justice served Assange with 17 charges under the Espionage Act, which could potentially put him behind bars for 175 years. His defense team is currently fighting a US extradition request. The charges stem from his publication of classified material obtained by whistleblowers, including classified documents alleging US war crimes in Iraq and Afghanistan. Although Assange did not personally hack these materials, he was still charged for his role in publishing them.

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Breton

 

 


For 250 million years, pollinators have been the planet’s secret agents for sustaining terrestrial life on Earth and many people ignore that over 500 plant species rely on bats to pollinate their flowers. This is a lesser long-nosed bat after a busy night

 

 


This is an entirely flat floor. The 16th century optical illusion of Florence Cathedral’s marble tiles.

 

 


20 million year old winged ant trapped in amber resin captured by Dr. Yuan Ji

 

 

 

 

Support the Automatic Earth in virustime with Paypal, Bitcoin and Patreon.

 

 

 

 

 

May 072023
 


Gustav Klimt Litzlberg am Attersee 1914-15

 

Russian Forces Take Control Over 95% Of Bakhmut – Prigozhin (TASS)
Wagner To Hand Bakhmut Over To Chechens – Prigozhin (RT)
Chechen Commandos Wait For Orders To Push Towards Bakhmut – Kadyrov (TASS)
Western Politicians Advise Kiev Not To Attack Crimea – Ukraine Official (RT)
Grain Deal Talks In Deadlock – UN (RT)
Moscow Blasts Kiev Over Use Of Grain Corridor To Attack Russia (Az.)
Tucker Carlson Forced Off Air By Fox Contract – NYT (RT)
The UK vs the ECtHR (VB)
US National Security Advisor To Meet With MbS (Cradle)
IMF Issues Grim Warning About Global Economy (RT)
Pakistan Switching To Yuan To Buy Russian Oil – Media (RT)
De-Dollarization Is Spreading And It’s Not Hard To See (Radhika Desai)
Over 2,000 of 4,800 US Banks Are Insolvent – Telegraph (RT)
MSNBC Spins Possible Hunter Biden Charges In Rare Joe Biden Interview (Turley)
In London, Brazil’s Lula Calls For Efforts To Free Assange (ABC)

 

 

 

 

 

 

RFK Jr. talks to Douglas Macgregor

 

 

 

 

Joe 29(?!)
https://twitter.com/i/status/1654766235027136512

 

 

 

 

 

 

“The remaining 5% do not play any role for the so-called development of progress and the march of the ‘Red Army’ further to the West..”

Russian Forces Take Control Over 95% Of Bakhmut – Prigozhin (TASS)

Russian forces control about 95% of Artyomovsk (Bakhmut) and the remaining 5% have no influence on the progress of the special military operation, Wagner PMC founder Yevgeny Prigozhin says. “Almost 95% of the city territory has been captured in Artyomovsk to date. The remaining 5% do not play any role for the so-called development of progress and the march of the ‘Red Army’ further to the West. Two square kilometers do not influence the progress of the military operation at all,” he said, cited by the Prigozhin’s press office in its Telegram channel. Nobody communicated with him about the shortage of ammunition, Prigozhin said. “The personnel of Wagner PMC will be preserved for the next operations in interests of Russia,” he noted. The Wagner PMC founder also said he had no ambitions of leaving his mark as the person “that took Artyomovsk.” “I have ambitions to be of service to our nation and state,” he added.

Chrystia Freeland tells Hillary Clinton

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“Prigozhin said that the operation of the Wagner group had fulfilled its task in Bakhmut. According to him, the goal of the Bakhmut meat grinder was not to take the city, but to grind the units of the Armed Forces of Ukraine. He said that 95% of the territory of Bakhmut is now under the control of Russian forces, and the remaining 5%, according to him, “do not play any role”. He said that he doesn’t care about being in the history books as the one who took Bakhmut, he cares about serving his own people” — RIA

Wagner To Hand Bakhmut Over To Chechens – Prigozhin (RT)

The Wagner Group private military company will withdraw from the key Donbass city of Artyomovsk (known in Ukraine as Bakhmut) on May 10, the group’s chief, Evgeny Prigozhin, has announced. The PMC’s positions will be taken over by the Chechen Special Forces Unit ‘Akhmat’, he said. Prigozhin claimed to have been in contact with Ramzan Kadyrov, the head of the Chechen Republic, to perform the maneuver. The Wagner leader expressed confidence that the Chechen units will capture Artyomovsk completely, of which just a few blocks in the city’s western part remain under the control of Ukrainian forces.

“I am already in contact with [Kadyrov’s] representatives in order to start transferring positions immediately, so that on May 10, at 00:00, exactly at the moment when, according to our calculations, we will completely exhaust our combat potential, our comrades will take our places and continue the assault on the city of Bakhmut,” Prigozhin said in a statement on Saturday. Later in the day, Kadyrov released a short video address stating that he has already raised the issue with Russian President Vladimir Putin, notifying him of his willingness to replace the Wagner fighters in the city. The Akhmat fighters are already on standby and ready to be redeployed to Artyomovsk, he added.

“The soldiers are on high alert, we are only waiting for orders. Several units have already set off towards the special military operation zone,” Kadyrov stated. Prigozhin announced the looming withdrawal of his forces from the city earlier this week, citing heavy losses and a shortage of artillery munitions. The group will be redeployed from the frontlines to rear camps to “lick their wounds,”he said. Artyomovsk has seen intense fighting in recent months, with the raging battle commonly referred to as the “Bakhmut meat grinder.”The city is a key road and rail junction in Donbass, with both sides reportedly suffering significant casualties during the struggle for control over it. Kiev has continuously poured reserves into the city, which remains partially surrounded by Wagner and other Russian troops.

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“We have already begun to develop our own strategy for this area together with the Russian Defense Ministry..”

Chechen Commandos Wait For Orders To Push Towards Bakhmut – Kadyrov (TASS)

Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov has said that the Akhmat commando force is ready to move into Artemovsk (Ukrainian name Bakhmut). “Akhmat [commando] units are ready to move to Artemovsk (Bakhmut). I have already signed the corresponding message to the Supreme Commander-in-Chief saying the Akhmat units are ready to take control of the city and to clear it from NATO and Ukrainian satanists. The fighters are in combat readiness. We are only waiting for the orders. Several units are already on the way to the zone of the special military operation,” Kadyrov wrote on his Telegram channel on Saturday.


The Chechen leader is certain that Artyomovsk will soon be liberated. “In the near future we will liberate the city, despite all sorts of fake news about some terrible counterattack by the Ukrainian army. We have already begun to develop our own strategy for this area together with the Russian Defense Ministry and with due regard for the tactics being used by the enemy and the resources available to us. Believe me, the tactic will yield positive results,” Kadyrov added.

Scott Ritter

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Who’s more likely to use nukes?

Western Politicians Advise Kiev Not To Attack Crimea – Ukraine Official (RT)

Some Western politicians have warned Ukraine against attempting to retake Crimea by force, President Vladimir Zelensky’s representative claims. Tamila Tasheva, who is tasked with Crimea-related issues, says their reservations stem from fears that if faced with losing the region, Russia might respond with tactical nuclear weapons. Speaking to Poland’s PAP news agency on Friday, Tasheva said Kiev’s preparations for a major counteroffensive have sparked discussions among Western elites regarding the potential repercussions. “Some Western politicians – not states – are warning Ukraine. They claim that the recapture of Crimea could lead to a nuclear war,” she said. According to Tasheva, these politicians argue that while an operation like this is feasible, the fallout could be severe.

Other voices have called into question whether Crimea has ever really been a part of Ukraine, she said. “In their opinion, we should completely give up trying to regain it.” Zelensky’s representative dismissed concerns over a potential nuclear response by Russia as unlikely. She went on to insist that there has long been a bond between Crimea and Ukraine, adding that pro-Kiev saboteurs are active on the peninsula. Multiple drone attacks have taken place in Crimea in recent weeks, targeting Russia’s Black Sea Fleet and an oil storage facility. The Russian authorities say they believe Ukraine was behind the strike on the storage facility, which led to a massive blaze last Saturday. The Ukrainian military, while stopping short of claiming responsibility, hinted that the attack was part of preparations ahead of Kiev’s much-hyped counteroffensive.

Speaking to Scandinavian media outlets last Friday, President Zelensky expressed hope that Ukraine’s forces will be able to “de-occupy” Crimea, as well as Russia’s newly-incorporated territories – the People’s Republics of Donetsk and Lugansk, and Zaporozhye and Kherson Regions. The predominantly-Russian speaking Crimea joined Russia in 2014 following a referendum that was held after the Maidan coup in Kiev that same year.

French journo

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“The deal also requires Western countries to unblock Russian grain and fertilizer exports..”

Grain Deal Talks In Deadlock – UN (RT)

Another round of talks aimed at prolonging the Black Sea grain deal has ended in deadlock, Farhan Haq, the deputy spokesperson for UN secretary-general, told the media. Technical personnel from Russia, Türkiye, Ukraine, and the UN met in Istanbul on Friday, ahead of a senior-level meeting scheduled for next week. According to the UN spokesperson, the parties failed to agree on the authorization of new vessels to join the Black Sea shipments. Nevertheless, daily inspection work on the previously authorized vessels will continue. “We urge all parties to continue their discussions, overcome operational challenges and work towards the full implementation and continuation of the initiative,”Farhan Haq said. Last year, the UN and Türkiye brokered an agreement which allows the safe export of Ukrainian grain though the Black Sea. The deal also requires Western countries to unblock Russian grain and fertilizer exports.


In March, Russia agreed to extend the deal by 60 days, to May 18. The Kremlin has said that not all parties are fulfilling their part of the agreement. Moscow has also complained that wealthy countries, rather than those at serious risk of food shortages, receive the majority of agricultural goods from Ukraine. Among its conditions, Moscow has demanded that the Russian Agricultural Bank (Rosselkhozbank) be reconnected to the international SWIFT payment system. Earlier this week, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said that the possibility of allowing the bank to return to SWIFT is part of the discussions on extending the grain deal. According to Cavusoglu, while the parties are actively collaborating, there are no guarantees that the deal will be extended.

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“..unfortunately, it was used by the Ukrainian side, in particular, to organize terrorist attacks against Sevastopol, which is absolutely unacceptable.”

Moscow Blasts Kiev Over Use Of Grain Corridor To Attack Russia (Az.)

Ukraine’s attempts to exploit the Black Sea grain corridor to stage terrorist attacks on Crimea, Russia cannot be tolerated, Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Vershinin said in an exclusive interview with RT released on Saturday. Speaking after talks with the United Nations Trade and Development chief on the renewal of the landmark UN- and Türkiye-brokered grain deal with Ukraine, which is set to expire on May 18, Vershinin signaled that Russia is not satisfied with the way the agreement is being implemented. He said that while the talks turned out to be useful, as they allowed the headway being made to be measured, Russia “is not happy with the progress.” Vershinin explained that the part of the agreement unblocking Ukrainian grain exports via the Black Sea has yielded “real results,” but not without caveats.

“We are drawing attention to the fact that the grain… is probably being exported to the most developed countries… However, the very idea that was put forward by the UN secretary general [Antonio Guterres] to ensure food security in the world, as it turns out, is not actually happening.” Vershinin said the parties to the deal are working on the international humanitarian corridor to export grain, “but everyone knows that, unfortunately, it was used by the Ukrainian side, in particular, to organize terrorist attacks against Sevastopol, which is absolutely unacceptable.” The deputy foreign minister went on to tout Russia’s potential in ensuring global food security. “It is well-known, if we remove barriers for our agricultural exports, and for the exports of our fertilizers, many countries of the world will benefit.”

Concluded last July, the landmark grain deal with Ukraine has since hit some stumbling blocks. Russian officials have repeatedly complained that while the deal indeed unblocked Ukrainian grain exports, it failed to unblock deliveries of Russian food and fertilizers to global markets, mostly due to the Western sanctions. The deal has also been marred by several Ukrainian attacks using the grain corridor, resulting in Russia briefly suspending its participation in the agreement in October 2022. In April, Russia’s Defense Ministry said that Ukraine had broken its promise not to use the grain corridor for military purposes after several unmanned boats attacked the Black Sea Fleet bases in Sevastopol, as well as civilian infrastructure on two occasions, potentially threatening the deal’s renewal.

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“..he has no choice but to stay off the airwaves until after the 2024 election unless he is able to negotiate an exit.”

Tucker Carlson Forced Off Air By Fox Contract – NYT (RT)

Recently-fired Fox News host Tucker Carlson may be sidelined from television news entirely until after the 2024 election unless he can extricate himself from his previous employment contract, according to multiple sources who spoke to the New York Times on Friday. The anchorman is restrained by a common clause known as ‘pay or play’ that restricts him from working for a competitor until the contract expires, an inside source told the outlet. Carlson’s contract is valid through January 2025, meaning he has no choice but to stay off the airwaves until after the 2024 election unless he is able to negotiate an exit. Carlson has reportedly retained entertainment lawyer Bryan Freedman to work out a settlement with his former employer.

Numerous outlets, both traditional and internet-based, are said to be courting the conservative pundit, including Rumble, the Daily Wire, Newsmax, and One America News. Carlson was let go last month hours before he was scheduled to go on the air, supposedly at the request of Lachlan Murdoch, CEO of Fox Corporation, and Suzanne Scott, CEO of Fox News Media, according to a source who spoke to the Times. Media outlets including the Times have suggested his ouster was due to a text message discovered while the network was preparing for Dominion Voting Systems’ defamation lawsuit to go to trial in which Carlson acknowledged the humanity of an Antifa protester. He had enjoyed watching the “creep”get beaten up, he admitted, even though “it’s not how white men fight.”

Other leaked texts from Carlson show him calling Trump lawyer Sidney Powell “cruel and reckless” for pushing the theory that Dominion was flipping votes for then-candidate Joe Biden. The network ultimately did not allow the Dominion suit to go to trial, settling with the voting machine manufacturer for $787 million. Carlson has remained largely silent about the circumstances of his departure, save for a two-minute clip he posted to Twitter decrying how “unbelievably stupid” most TV news content was and lamenting the absence of “undeniably big topics” on the airwaves. The clip has garnered over 24 million views in just two weeks, while Fox’s own ratings have plummeted, with the network losing half its audience in the coveted 25 to 54 demographic.

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The Bill of Rights Bill

“Anatomy of A Politically Engineered Collision Course”

The UK vs the ECtHR (VB)

In recent months, the UK government has tabled two Bills before Parliament which would have the consequence – and almost certainly have the intention – of setting the UK on a collision course with the Council of Europe, and especially the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR). Both the Bill of Rights Bill and the Illegal Migration Bill, introduced on 22 June 2022 and 7 March 2023 respectively, contain provisions that openly flout the UK’s obligations under the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR). While the former is currently in parliamentary limbo, the Illegal Migration Bill will probably become law, following extensive amendment by the House of Lords, which will debate it on 10 May.

This post details how the Bills serve to undermine the UK’s obligations under the ECHR and explains their significance within the larger debate surrounding the UK’s possible withdrawal from the Convention. It places this debate in the context of the rarely-convened Council of Europe summit of heads of state and government in Reykjavik in May 2023, whose ambitious agenda is to protect the ‘common heritage’ of respect for human rights, democracy and the rule of law in the face of Russia’s aggression in Ukraine and other existential threats. The Bill of Rights Bill would repeal and replace the Human Rights Act (HRA) 1998, which gives effect in UK law to most of the rights and freedoms in the Convention. It is the product of a near decade long fixation by the – now former – Justice Secretary, Dominic Raab, with abolishing the HRA and loosening the UK’s ties with Strasbourg, dating back to his 2011 polemic on the prisoner voting issue.

Several of the Bill’s provisions would create significant divergence between the UK and Strasbourg. The Bill would remove the current requirement under section 2 of the HRA for the UK courts to take relevant case law of the ECtHR into account and would encourage a more originalist reading of the Convention. The interpretive duty found in section 3 of the HRA would also be removed. This requires courts to interpret Acts of Parliament so that the rights, duties and powers they establish are exercised in ways that are compatible with Convention rights. Further, it would prevent UK judges from interpreting Convention rights in ways that create positive obligations on public authorities – and even discourage them from applying positive obligations that have already been identified in previous cases, creating inevitable contradiction with Strasbourg case law.

The Bill also instructs UK courts not to have regard to any interim measure (or urgent injunction) issued by the ECtHR, which would directly contravene the UK’s obligations under the Convention. The parliamentary Joint Committee on Human Rights (JCHR) urged the Government not to proceed with the Bill, since: ‘it weakens rights protections, it undermines the universality of rights, it shows disregard for our international legal obligations; it creates legal uncertainty and hinders effective enforcement; it will lead to an increased caseload in Strasbourg; and will damage our international reputation as guardians of human rights’.

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MbS cannot go back.

US National Security Advisor To Meet With MbS (Cradle)

White House national security advisor Jake Sullivan will visit Saudi Arabia this weekend for talks with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MbS), as the White House seeks to improve ties with Riyadh, Reuters reported on 5 May. Speaking at the pro-Israel Washington Institute for Near East Policy (WINEP), Sullivan said he would be traveling to Saudi Arabia on Saturday for talks with Saudi leaders. Sources speaking with Reuters said Sullivan would meet with Crown Prince MbS. Sullivan said the Biden administration seeks a diplomatic solution to Iran’s nuclear program and criticized the Trump administration’s 2018 decision to withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal negotiated by President Obama in 2015. The deal placed restrictions on Iran’s nuclear program in exchange for sanctions relief.

“Yes, we will take the necessary action to ensure that Iran does not acquire a nuclear weapon,” Sullivan said in his WINEP speech. Iranian leaders say they have no intention to develop nuclear weapons and that the country’s nuclear program is for peaceful civilian purposes. Oil production cuts by Saudi-led OPEC+ last October and differences between the US and Saudi Arabia over the 2018 assassination of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi –carried out by agents close to MbS — hurt relations between the two historical allies. White House officials have also viewed Saudi Arabia’s recent decision to resume ties with Iran and Syria negatively. Representatives from India and the UAE will also join Sullivan’s trip to discuss “new areas of cooperation between New Delhi and the Gulf as well as the United States and the rest of the region.”

Sullivan said the US was working hard to normalize relations between Israel and Saudi Arabia. “Ultimately getting to full normalization is a declared national security interest of the United States. We have been clear about that,” he said. “Now as a sign of my seriousness about how much we’re focused on this, and how seriously we are taking this, I am not going to say anything further lest I upset the efforts we are undertaking on this issue,” he added.

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Maybe it should be “Global Economy Issues Grim Warning About IMF”.

IMF Issues Grim Warning About Global Economy (RT)

The managing director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has warned that the world is on the edge of geo-economic fragmentation, which she believes could add more “cold water” to already anemic global growth. Speaking by video-link at the Brussels Economic Forum on Wednesday, Kristalina Georgieva called for cooperation at a time when growth across the globe is extremely weak by historical standards. “After decades of increasing global integration, there is a growing risk that the world may split into rival economic blocs,” the IMF chief said. “And that’s a scenario that would be bad for everyone, including for people in Europe.” She warned that growth prospects were increasingly bleak at a time when the global outlook is weak both in the near and medium term.

The IMF projects growth to remain around 3% over the next five years, the lowest medium-term forecast in more than three decades. “And yet, central bankers cannot take their eyes off the ball until stubborn inflation is firmly under control,” Georgieva pointed out. “The required monetary tightening is weighing on growth and exposing some financial vulnerabilities.” Reviving multilateral cooperation is vital for long-term growth everywhere, according to the official, who warned that trade fragmentation could cost up to 7% to the global economy in the long term. That’s “roughly equivalent to the combined annual output of Germany and Japan,” she said, adding that some nations could see GDP losses of up to 12% if technological decoupling is added.

“We cannot ignore these costs,” Georgieva stressed. The IMF boss had previously said that the shocks of the past few years, including the Covid pandemic, Russia-Ukraine conflict, and spike in interest rates after years of loose monetary policy, have been a drag on the global economy.

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“The deal is expected to provide relief to cash-strapped Pakistan, which is facing a balance of payments crisis and critically low foreign exchange reserves.”

Pakistan Switching To Yuan To Buy Russian Oil – Media (RT)

Pakistan is likely to pay for shipments of crude oil from Russia in Chinese yuan, local media reported on Saturday, citing government sources. The first cargo of 750,000 barrels is expected to dock as soon as in June. An unnamed official from the Ministry of Energy told The News International that the transaction would be facilitated by the Bank of China. The sources haven’t provided details about the mode of payment or the exact discount that Pakistan will receive, saying that making the information public is not in the interest of either buyer or seller. “Russia will provide URAL crude in the test cargo and most probably Pakistan Refinery Limited (PRL) will be tasked to refine the Russian crude,” the official said.


Other sources told the media that Pakistan has agreed a per-barrel price of around $50-52, compared to the G7 price cap on Russian oil of $60 per barrel. In December, the EU, G7, and their allies introduced a collective ban on Russian seaborne oil exports, along with a price cap of $60 per barrel. Another embargo banning almost all imports of Russian oil products, as well as introducing price caps on diesel and other petroleum products, kicked in on February 5. In January, Moscow and Islamabad reached “conceptual” agreements on supplies of Russian oil and petroleum products to Pakistan. The deal is expected to provide relief to cash-strapped Pakistan, which is facing a balance of payments crisis and critically low foreign exchange reserves.

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“..the larger the US deficits, the greater the downward pressure on the dollar..”

De-Dollarization Is Spreading And It’s Not Hard To See (Radhika Desai)

New sources of non-dollar finance are emerging. There are new bilateral agreements to trade and lend in currencies other than the US dollar. Even more importantly, major oil trade buyers and sellers – Moscow and Riyadh as much as Beijing and New Delhi – are agreeing to trade it in non-dollar currencies. These deals are destroying one of the main pillars of dollar dominance since OPEC quadrupled and then doubled oil prices in the 1970s, giving countries around the world a major reason to demand and hold dollars. However, many analysts continue to write as if the dollar’s dominance remains intact. Of course, these arguments are based on all sorts of false assumptions. For instance, they claim the dollar will continue dominating until another country’currency replaces it or that this will only happen if other countries pursue forms of internationalization that mimic that of the US dollar today.

In a sense, the discussion is a little like that depicted in The Big Short, a film about a small band of bankers who bet against the housing market and the securities resting on it in the 2000s. Having made their bets, they waited for the market to collapse. It did. However, for a time, while mortgage defaults increased, the securities they are based on continued to rise in value. Prices were buoyed by investors primed by Alan Greenspan’s famous claim that there could not possibly be a housing market bubble. Nor were the securities downgraded. The rating agencies had not only given high scores to investment rubbish, they had come to believe their own lies. Only when the losses piled up and actually began to filter through the system in the form of payment shortfalls was the truth acknowledged.

De-dollarization also has its equivalent of the losses and payment shortfalls. Consider the recent Financial Times story, ‘China’s ‘men in black’ step up scrutiny of foreign corporate sleuths’. It describes the Chinese Ministry of State Security using “methods familiar to spies and private detectives” to crack down on “foreign corporate sleuths” performing “due diligence” on investments. They cite the process of checking whether a supply chain involved “forced labor from Xinjiang” as an example, stating that such due diligence is critical for attracting US investment. The piece adds that earlier, “the due diligence groups felt they had ample space to operate and that authorities understood their importance,” but now Beijing has stepped up scrutiny of these scrutineers on grounds of national security. They lament that “spy companies were the gatekeepers for money,” but now, “[t]hat sense of a mutually beneficial relationship is gone.”

Now, the Chinese government has no shortage of reasons for stepping up its scrutiny of the information being gathered by foreign, particularly US entities. After all, it is the target of a US hybrid war whose fronts multiply daily. However, this is not the only significance of the story. It goes deeper than that and testifies to de-dollarization. Since 1971 the US currency’s global role has rested on the claim that the dollar-denominated financial system was the world’s most sophisticated, with the broadest and deepest pools of capital from which the rest of the world’s investors could drink their fill. Certainly, the expansion of financial activity, also known as financialization, has been critical. By increasing financial demand for the dollar, it counteracted the Triffin Dilemma caused by the US deficits that provided the world with liquidity, meaning that the larger the US deficits, the greater the downward pressure on the dollar.

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Pick them off one by one..

Over 2,000 of 4,800 US Banks Are Insolvent – Telegraph (RT)

Almost half of the 4,800 banks in the US are nearly insolvent, as they have burned through their capital buffers, The Telegraph reported earlier this week, citing a group of banking experts. According to Professor Amit Seru, a banking expert at Stanford University, around half of US lenders are underwater. “Let’s not pretend that this is just about Silicon Valley Bank and First Republic,” he said. “A lot of the US banking system is potentially insolvent.” Last week, First Republic was seized by US financial regulators and acquired by JPMorgan, the country’s biggest bank. The San Francisco-based lender had previously received a $30-billion rescue shot from a group of Wall Street banks in the form of deposits. The sale of First Republic Bank followed massive deposit runs in March, which caused two regional lenders, Silicon Valley Bank and Signature Bank, to fail within days.


On Thursday, shares of Los Angeles-based PacWest and Arizona’s Western Alliance were suspended after their prices fell dramatically. Earlier in the week, shares of several regional US lenders plunged by at least 15%, triggering investor concerns about the financial health of other mid-sized banks. Around 2,315 banks across the US are currently sitting on assets worth less than their liabilities, according to a Hoover Institution report by Professor Seru and a group of banking experts, as cited by the media. The market value of the loan portfolios of these lenders is reportedly $2 trillion lower than the stated book value. Professor Seru raised questions over the steps taken by US financial watchdogs to tackle the problems faced by crisis-hit mid-sized lenders. The regulators can contain the immediate liquidity crisis by guaranteeing all deposits temporarily, according to Seru, who said, however, that this would not address the greater solvency crisis.

Bank crisis
https://twitter.com/i/status/1654823464853708802

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Set up to let Joe distance himself from the mess.

MSNBC Spins Possible Hunter Biden Charges In Rare Joe Biden Interview (Turley)

Last night, President Joe Biden did what is a relatively rare thing. He sat down with an actual reporter ostensibly to answer questions. While earlier promising a “major press conference” for the media as a whole to ask him questions, Biden instead did a low-risk interview with MSNBC’s Stephanie Ruhle. In the interview, Ruhle briefly touched on the possible criminal charges awaiting Hunter Biden. Despite reports of a whistleblower alleging a bribery scandal involving the President, Ruhle assured the President (and the viewers) that the still unknown charges will involve “no ties to you.” Moreover, the interview is most interesting for what it did not address. It was a vivid example of what I previously called “the art of scandal implosion.” During the interview, Ruhle asked “Sir, there is something personal that’s affecting you. Your son — while there [are] no ties to you — could be charged by your Department of Justice. How will that impact your presidency?”

Biden answered, “First of all, my son’s done nothing wrong. I trust him. I have faith in him. And it impacts my presidency by making me feel proud of him.” Note the framing: it is a “personal” not a “criminal” matter for the President that involves only his son. We still do not know what the charges might be, though there have been steady leaks indicating that the Delaware U.S. Attorney is focusing on tax and gun charges. Yet, there are mounting allegations over the President’s involvement in his son’s influence peddling and recent allegations of potential criminal conduct by the President. It would seem worthy of some inquiry or curiosity. This framing is only possible because the Justice Department and the media have worked tirelessly to avoid ties between Hunter Biden’s foreign dealings and the President. While influence peddling may not be a crime in itself, it often involves crimes to cover up the schemes from tax violations to false statements to unlawful financial transfers.

Last year, I wrote about a shift in the media after it was forced to belatedly acknowledge the authenticity of the Hunter Biden laptop: “Due to the continued work of a small number of media outlets like the New York Post, it is no longer possible to bury the story or continue the false claim that it is “Russian disinformation.” The hope now appears to be a “controlled demolition” where Hunter is indicted on limited grounds without causing collateral damage to the political and media establishment. Scandal implosion is as much an art as it is a science and could be the most brilliant achievement in this ongoing scandal.”This effort has been greatly advanced with the help of Attorney General Merrick Garland who has inexplicably refused to appoint a special counsel despite mounting evidence of influence peddling by the Biden family with Joe Biden as the object of those efforts.

Garland has effectively blocked the risk of a report on the extensive influence peddling, including the repeated references to President Biden as the “Big Guy” in emails who stood to gain from a 10 percent cut on a deal with a Chinese energy firm as well as other benefits. Emails also refer to Hunter Biden paying portions of his father’s expenses and taxes. Witnesses have come forward that directly link the President to these deals. Yet, none of that remotely interests reporters and MSNBC is not alone. The media continues to struggle to avoid even referencing the allegations against the Bidens. NPR had to correct a story that attempted to dismiss the entire laptop story as disinformation even after media acknowledged the authenticity of the laptop. This is why the narrow focus of the Justice Department is critical to imploding this scandal.

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“He said he had forgotten to discuss the matter with U.K. Prime Minister Rishi Sunak..”

In London, Brazil’s Lula Calls For Efforts To Free Assange (ABC)

After attending the coronation of King Charles III in London, Brazil’s President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva denounced the lack of concerted efforts to free WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, who has spent four years in Britain’s Belmarsh Prison. “It is an embarrassment that a journalist who denounced trickery by one state against another is arrested, condemned to die in jail and we do nothing to free him. It’s a crazy thing,” Lula told reporters. “We talk about freedom of expression; the guy is in prison because he denounced wrongdoing. And the press doesn’t do anything in defense of this journalist. I can’t understand it.” Lula offered the remarks in response to a question about Assange, who is a native Australian. He said he had forgotten to discuss the matter with U.K. Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, but that he would write to him upon returning to Brazil.


Assange has been fighting extradition to the United States, and Lula’s comments come at a moment that he has shown little reluctance to voice his differences of opinion with Washington regarding geopolitical matters, particularly in his opposition to providing arms to Ukraine for its war against Russia, and accusing the US and Europe of encouraging the fighting. His stance and repeated statements have drawn sharp rebukes from the White House and Europe. For its part, Australia has been stepping up diplomatic pressure on the US government to call off its prosecution of Assange. On Friday, Australia’s Prime Minister Albanese told the Australian Broadcasting Corp. in an interview that “ enough is enough. There is nothing to be served by his ongoing incarceration.” Last November, Albanese told Parliament that his “position is clear and has been made clear to the U.S. administration: That it is time that this matter be brought to a close.”

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Badger

 

 

 

 

Manes
https://twitter.com/i/status/1654766110724734977

 

 

Baby shark
https://twitter.com/i/status/1654899065023283210

 

 

 

 

King
https://twitter.com/i/status/1654821347812585473

 

 

 

 

Support the Automatic Earth in virustime with Paypal, Bitcoin and Patreon.

 

 

 

 

 

Apr 162023
 


Dome ceiling at the Ambassadors’ Hall in the Royal Alcazar of Seville, Spain 1427 (click to enlarge)

 

Wagner Chief Calls On Putin To Declare End Of War (ZH)
Former NATO Troops See ‘Disarray’ In Ukrainian Military – CTV (RT)
US Must Stop ‘Encouraging War’ In Ukraine – Lula (RT)
Spring Offensive (Gonzalo Lira)
Hungary Bans Ukrainian Grain (RT)
Ukraine Accuses Poland Of Violating Grain Deal (RT)
Zelensky is Secretly Buying Fuel from Putin with US Taxpayer Funds (CF)
Russia Begins Exporting Fuel To Iran By Rail (Cradle)
“Joe Biden Is A Criminal”: Former White House Stenographer (ZH)
The Crackdown Cometh (Matt Taibbi)
Pentagon Leaks Suspect Wins Praise From Far-Right US Politicians And Media (G.)
Vindman Leaked Documents To Help Impeach Trump – Never Served Time (GP)
Outrageous Plans To Give The WHO Power Over Your Life (Tess Lawrie)
IMF Unveils New Global Currency Known As The “Universal Monetary Unit” (Snyder)

 

 

Orban
https://twitter.com/i/status/1647292666302824450

 

 

Makis

 

 

Rogan liberalism

 

 

 

 

“..gain a firm foothold, cling to the territories that already exist..”

Wagner Chief Calls On Putin To Declare End Of War (ZH)

Head of Russia’s most prominent mercenary firm Wagner Group, Yevgeny Prigozhin, has issued an unexpected call for the Kremlin to declare an end of the war in order to consolidate territory already gained. A Friday statement by Prigozhin released by his press service suggested it’s time to declare ‘victory’ and to focus on fully establishing Russian control over the occupied territories of Ukraine. “For the authorities [of the Russian Federation – ed.] and for society as a whole, it is necessary to put some kind of bold full stop in the ‘special military operation’,” the Wagner chief said [emphasis ours].


The rare statement continued: “The ideal option is to announce the end of the special military operation, to inform everyone that Russia has achieved the results that it planned, and in a sense, we have really achieved them. We have ground a huge number of soldiers of the Armed Forces of Ukraine and can report to ourselves that our task has been completed.” “Theoretically, Russia has already received this full stop by destroying a large part of the active male population of Ukraine, by intimidating another part of it that has fled to Europe.” Prigozhin went on: “Russia has cut off the Azov Sea and a large chunk of the Black Sea, seized a fat chunk of Ukraine’s territory, and created a land corridor to Crimea,” and stressed that Russia can “gain a firm foothold, cling to the territories that already exist”.

But he noted that “If earlier Ukraine was part of former Russia, now it is an absolutely national-oriented state”. This comes as Wagner is spearheading the largely successful offensive to capture Bakhmut and surrounding areas of Donetsk region. At least 80% of the largely destroyed city is currently in Russian hands. A Russian defense ministry briefing on Saturday said “Wagner assault units have successfully advanced, capturing two districts on the northern and southern outskirts of the city.” Western media too has generally acknowledged the Russian forces’ steady advance.

Wagner
https://twitter.com/i/status/1647397384115335168

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“If changes to tactics are not introduced rapidly, “generations of Ukrainians” could be lost, the document warns.”

Former NATO Troops See ‘Disarray’ In Ukrainian Military – CTV (RT)

A chaotic military command structure is leading to huge losses among Ukrainian troops and is causing serious doubts over the outcome of the conflict with Russia, Canada’s CTV National News has claimed, citing a report by former NATO soldiers. The so-called ‘White Papers’ were compiled by two former high-ranking members of the US Special Forces and one former major in the Canadian Armed Forces. Each of the group has been training local forces in Ukraine for the last nine months, the broadcaster reported on Friday. According to CTV, the papers describe Ukraine’s military command structure as being in disarray, while it further claims that the country’s military communication system is crumbling. If changes to tactics are not introduced rapidly, “generations of Ukrainians” could be lost, the document warns.

One of the authors, a former Canadian army major who chose to remain anonymous, told CTV that it was “well documented” that the Ukrainian army had suffered “huge losses with their junior officers.” Earlier this month, leaked Pentagon papers claimed that Ukrainian forces have so far suffered between 124,000 and 131,000 dead and wounded during the conflict. The figure, which was based on US estimates, is several times higher than Kiev’s official death toll. The source argued to CTV that the authors of the ‘White Papers’ were not looking to criticize Ukraine, but were “only striving for the better outcome” for the country. The lack of coordination between Ukrainian units is leading to “greater losses of life and equipment as well as failed operations,” the paper is said to have stated.

Another issue of concern for the NATO servicemen is that “military aid, such as tanks, are used as mobile artillery and not in combined operations with infantry” by Kiev’s forces. As a result, “[Ukrainian] infantry will watch as the enemy maneuvers and stages in front of their defensive positions just outside of effective artillery range,” the document is cited as saying. According to the report, Ukraine’s training approach “is based on the legacy Soviet model” which puts the commander at the center, “with no delegation of authority in training, planning, and especially operations.” The widespread lack of application of NATO standards leads to painfully slow decision-making on the battlefield, the document reportedly claims. Russia has long described the conflict in Ukraine as a “proxy war” waged against it by NATO. According to Moscow, the assistance provided to Kiev by the US and its allies, including the supply of weapons, training for Ukrainian troops, and intelligence sharing, has de facto made Western nations parties to the conflict.

Bakhmut

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“But above all, it is necessary to convince the countries that are supplying weapons, encouraging the war, to stop.”

US Must Stop ‘Encouraging War’ In Ukraine – Lula (RT)

The United States and its allies should focus on promoting peace in Ukraine instead of “encouraging war” by arming Kiev, Brazilian President Lula da Silva said on Saturday as he concluded a state visit to China, his country’s primary trading partner. “The United States needs to stop encouraging war and start talking about peace,” Lula told reporters in Beijing. “The European Union needs to start talking about peace.” He added that, in doing so, world leaders might be able to “convince” both Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Ukrainian counterpart Vladimir Zelensky that “peace is in the interest of the whole world.” In contrast to many Western nations, neither Brazil nor China has imposed sanctions on Moscow following the onset of the conflict in Ukraine last year.

Prior to the trip, Lula, the left-wing leader who returned as Brazilian president last year after succeeding Jair Bolsonaro, had sought to position himself as part of a group that could mediate in the conflict. He did not, however, elaborate on the nature of any such talks with Chinese President Xi Jinping following their meeting on Friday. CNN reported earlier this week that Beijing had requested the removal of issues surrounding Ukraine from the list of topics to be discussed by the two leaders. “It is important to have patience,” Lula suggested on Saturday, “But above all, it is necessary to convince the countries that are supplying weapons, encouraging the war, to stop.”

China has been a key trading partner for Brazil since 2009. In 2022 alone, Beijing imported close to $90 billion worth of Brazilian commodities such as soy, iron ore and petrol. Brazil is also the largest single market for Chinese products on the South American continent. Lula’s comments on Ukraine, as well as the strengthening of economic ties with Beijing, are likely to draw the attention of Washington, with whom Brasilia has sought a closer relationship under his rule. In February, he met with US President Joe Biden in the White House, where they primarily discussed efforts to combat climate change and combat anti-democratic extremism.

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Twitter thread.

Spring Offensive (Gonzalo Lira)

Re. the Kiev regime’s spring offensive: Supposedly, 200,000 men have been assembled, 60,000 of them combat troops, to launch a major offensive that will cut Russia’s land bridge to Crimea. Kiev and its Western sponsors have been announcing this offensive for going on months now. It is supposed to break the back of the Russians. For their part, the Russians have heavily fortified the portions of the contact line where this offensive might likely come. This spring offensive was supposed to happen in mid April — that is, now — but it has been postponed supposedly because of weather and ground conditions. At this time, there is no firm date for it, though it’s supposed to happen before July. According to realistic estimates, Kiev has lost already +200,000 men KIA.

They are also rapidly running out of air defense missiles, which have been preventing Russian bombers from being effective on the battlefield. The Pentagon leaks (which are from late February) estimate that by mid May, Kyiv will have run out of air defense missiles, and will be naked to Russian bomber jets. Furthermore, the West’s support is rapidly deteriorating: A dribble of weapons, and dying political support. So there is an enormous time pressure on Kiev and the Washington Warmongers: Launch the offensive NOW—before conditions on the ground turn it into a rout. In Washington, there are two camps — those urging for a settlement and cease-fire, and those urging a make-or-break offensive to smash the Russians. At this time, the Warmongers urging the offensive still have the upper hand. Since the start of this conflict 14 months ago, not once have Kiev regime forces successfully broken through Russian lines in any fortified position.

Don’t tell me about Kharkov and Kherson: The Russians withdrew and gave up the terrain—and still it cost Kiev heavily. With this spring offensive, Kyiv no longer has the tanks or the men to hold onto any territory that they capture. The idea that they will break through all the way to Mariupol — and hold that territory — is just not within the realms of the possible. So even if this offensive breaks through Russian lines, Kiev will not be able to leverage that success. The Russians will simply counterattack, and since they have the men and the gear, their counterattack will likely be successful (though long and bloody). Is THIS what the Washington Warmongers want? I think yes: Marginally degrade Russian forces by throwing away Ukrainian lives in one final push. It would also give the perfect opportunity for Poland to get into the fray. Were the Russians to suffer a bad setback in southern Ukraine, it might provide the distraction (and the time) so that Polish forces could enter western Ukraine.

It would also provide the political rationale for direct Polish intervention. “Look!” the Washington Warmongers could say. “The Russians are losing—let’s get the Poles in there to finish the job!” I think this is the Warmongers’ idea at this time: Use the offensive’s early breathless headlines (which will all be initially positive) to widen the war. Because without widening the war, Russian victory is inevitable. Which means *Washington’s* ignominious defeat—at a time when its global hegemony is seriously teetering. A suicidal Ukrainian offensive—to bring in Poland and widen the war. Tell me what you think.

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“Budapest hopes it will give Brussels “enough time to introduce meaningful and lasting EU measures to reconsider the full duty-free nature of Ukrainian goods.”

Hungary Bans Ukrainian Grain (RT)

The Hungarian Ministry of Agriculture has announced a “temporary ban” on the imports of grain and oilseeds from Ukraine, citing the lack of any “meaningful” EU-wide measures to protect the markets from “destabilization” by the uncontrolled inflow of cheap produce. The Hungarian government is “committed to protecting the interests of the Hungarian farming community,” the ministry said in a statement on Saturday evening, announcing a temporary ban until June 30. Budapest hopes it will give Brussels “enough time to introduce meaningful and lasting EU measures to reconsider the full duty-free nature of Ukrainian goods.” The list of banned products will also include “a number of other agricultural products,” according to the ministry. The Minister of Agriculture, István Nagy, said these “extraordinary measures” are necessary to prevent “serious damage” to Hungarian agriculture.


Poland rolled out similar restrictions earlier in the day, also citing the need to protect local farmers, and triggering backlash from Kiev. In a separate move on Friday, Slovakia banned the processing and sale of Ukrainian grain, citing the discovery of a dangerous pesticide prohibited in the EU in a 1,500-ton haul of the product. The issue stems from Brussels’ efforts to support Ukraine by permitting duty-free imports from the country, touted as a way to help its exports reach poorer nations in the Middle East and Africa. However, much of the produce has ended up in Eastern Europe, sending local prices plummeting. Last month, the prime ministers of Bulgaria, Hungary, Poland, Romania, and Slovakia demanded action from the EU Commission on Ukrainian agricultural imports, calling for the reintroduction of tariffs. In early April, the countries also urged Brussels to buy back accumulated Ukrainian products on “humanitarian” grounds.

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“The banned items range “from grain to honey products, very, very many things..”

Ukraine Accuses Poland Of Violating Grain Deal (RT)

Kiev lashed out at Warsaw’s decision to impose a ban on Ukrainian grain and other agricultural products, accusing it of violating a deal reached by the two countries this month. Poland rolled out the restrictions earlier in the day, citing the need to protect local markets from “destabilization” caused by the inflow of cheap produce from Ukraine. Ukraine’s Agriculture Ministry claimed the move violated an agreement reached last week in the wake of mass protests by Polish farmers. At the time, Warsaw said Kiev had “agreed to limit and, for now, halt exports to Poland.” “We understand that Polish farmers are facing a difficult situation, but we are emphasizing that now the most difficult situation is for Ukraine’s farmers,” the ministry said, adding that “resolving various issues by unilateral drastic actions will not accelerate a positive resolution of the situation.”

At the same time, the ministry called upon Warsaw to strike a new agreement on the matter as soon as possible, addressing the concerns of both sides. Announcing the ban, the leader of Poland’s ruling Law and Justice Party (PiS), Jaroslaw Kaczynski, insisted the country remains “unchanged friends and allies of Ukraine.” “Today, the government has decided on a regulation that prohibits the entry and importation of grain into Poland, but also dozens of other types of food [from Ukraine],” Kaczynski said during his party convention. The banned items range “from grain to honey products, very, very many things,” he added. Later in the day, another Eastern European nation, Hungary, rolled out a ban of its own on Ukrainian agriculture imports.

Announcing the move, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban said the restrictions were needed since the status quo would cause severe damage to local farmers. Multiple Eastern European nations, namely Bulgaria, Hungary, Poland, Romania, and Slovakia, have sounded the alarm over the inflow of cheap agriculture goods from Ukraine lately. Last month, they demanded action from the EU Commission on the issue, urging it to re-impose import tariffs on the produce. Last year, agriculture products from Ukraine were allowed duty-free entry into the bloc, with Brussels advertising the move as a way to help Ukraine reach its customers in the Middle East and Africa amid the ongoing conflict with Russia. However, much of the produce ended up in Eastern Europe, creating logistics bottlenecks and sending prices into a downward spiral, with the situation affecting local producers.

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“..he responded by firing ten who had been “brazenly bragging about the money they had.”

Zelensky is Secretly Buying Fuel from Putin with US Taxpayer Funds (CF)

It has been reported that President Volodymyr Zelensky and other Ukrainian officials collectively embezzled hundreds of millions of dollars in American aid meant to go towards the purchase of diesel. Veteran journalist Seymour Hersh revealed that, according to sources familiar with the matter, the amount could be as high as $400 million. In his latest Substack article, Hersh delved into the rampant corruption allegedly taking place among Ukraine’s political elite, suggesting the situation is worse than most people think. He explained that according to one source in the American intelligence community, Zelensky has been purchasing “discount diesel” from Russia with American money, and stashing the leftover funds.

“The Ukrainian president and many in his entourage have been skimming untold millions from the American dollars earmarked for diesel fuel payments,” Hersh wrote. Analysts at the Central Intelligence Agency, he continued, put the number at “$400 million last year, at least,” while another expert likened the level of corruption in Ukraine to that of the war in Afghanistan. During that conflict, the US was paying up to $400 per gallon to move fuel from foreign ports into the nation. It has not been revealed how much is being paid for diesel in Ukraine. As Hersh pointed out, CIA Director William Burns confronted Zelensky on the issue of corruption during a meeting in January, telling the Ukranian president that other officials were mad at him for “taking a larger share of the skim money than was going to the generals.”

Burns provided Zelensky with a list of high-ranking Ukrainian officials known by the CIA as corrupt, and he responded by firing ten who had been “brazenly bragging about the money they had.” According to the Bureau of Political-Military Affairs, the US has provided Ukraine with over $35 billion in aid since Russia launched its “premeditated, unprovoked, and brutal war” against the sovereign nation. While the US has been, by far, the greatest supplier of aid to Ukraine, dozens of other countries have stepped up to provide financial, military, and humanitarian support.

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FROM Iran or TO Iran?

Russia Begins Exporting Fuel To Iran By Rail (Cradle)

Earlier this year, Russia launched for the first time fuel-by-rail exports to Iran after its main purchasers stopped importing Russian fuel due to western sanctions imposed on the Kremlin following the start of the war in Ukraine, according to three industry sources that spoke with Reuters. Russia delivered 30,000 tons of diesel and gasoline to Iran in February and March, the sources said. Last year, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak announced that the two nations had clinched a massive energy deal worth $40 billion and agreed to swap oil and natural gas supplies. “We expect fuel supplies to Iran to rise this year, but we already see several issues with logistics due to rail congestion. That may keep exports from booming,” one of the sources reportedly told Reuters.

The fuel cargoes were shipped from Russia through Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan by rail. Some of the shipments of gasoline were then sent by truck from Iran to neighboring countries, including Iraq. Before the start of the Ukraine war, Russia exported small volumes of fuels to the Islamic Republic via the Caspian Sea. However, after the west sanctioned seaborne diesel and gasoline cargoes, Moscow had to look for alternative ways to expand deliveries to Tehran. While Iran is an oil-producing country with large deposits and its own refineries, over recent months, demand has surpassed domestic fuel production, according to a trader in Central Asian oil products that spoke with Reuters.

The main overland route for cargo sent from Russia to Iran passes through Azerbaijan as part of the International North-South Transport Corridor (INSTC), a 7,200-kilometer-long transit system that connects ship, rail, and road routes for moving cargo between India, Iran, Azerbaijan, Central Asia, Russia, and the rest of Europe. Last July, a Russian company completed the first transport of goods via container trains from Russia to India through the eastern branch of the INSTC. Russia and Iran have deepened their economic and defense cooperation due to growing economic pressure from the west and the war in Ukraine.

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“Joe Biden is a criminal. He was conducting malfeasance in office to enrich his family. Jake Sullivan is a conspirator in that, and there’s more… Obama officials involved in it, I believe.”

“Joe Biden Is A Criminal”: Former White House Stenographer (ZH)

Mike McCormick, a stenographer in the White House for 15 years who worked with Biden from 2011 to 2017, told Fox & Friends First that the FBI has completely ignored him despite his willingness to testify under oath before the grand jury investigating Hunter. “In February, I went to the FBI and filed one of their tips on their website. If you do that, and you’re lying to them, you go to jail. I’m not lying. I’m telling the truth, and I’m not going to jail,” McCormick said on Thursday. “Joe Biden is a criminal. He was conducting malfeasance in office to enrich his family. Jake Sullivan is a conspirator in that, and there’s more… Obama officials involved in it, I believe.”

McCormick specifically noted a key dialogue involving then-VP Biden, aide Jake Sullivan and the press on Air Force Two before an April 21, 2014 trip to Kyiv, Ukraine, in which Sullivan – now Biden’s national security adviser – outlined a US investment in the Ukrainian energy sector just days after Hunter joined the board of Burisma. Months after the trip, Congress allocated $50 million to Ukraine’s energy market. “I’m sitting back there with a tape recorder. Jake Sullivan comes back and somebody asks about fracking. His answer is, well, we’re bringing a lot of American assistance over for fracking. Burisma was the direct beneficiary of that fracking, and that’s what I recorded, and that’s in a White House transcript,” said McCormick, adding: “In the transcript, you don’t know who Jake Sullivan is. It’s a senior administration official. I’m the witness that says Jake Sullivan is the guy who said it and he should be investigated because at the time Hunter Biden was on the board of Burisma and Joe Biden is bringing American taxpayer money to enrich that company and himself and his family.”

“Hunter joined the board of the Ukrainian natural gas firm on April 18, just three days before Biden and his team traveled to Kyiv. But that critical piece of the puzzle was not made public until May 12. McCormick argued the timeline of the events suggests that Biden funneled American money overseas to “enrich” himself and his family, and used his own influence to aid his son’s rookie energy career. The former stenographer made it clear he wants to present the information under oath before the grand jury in Delaware probing Hunter’s business dealings, which is led by U.S. Attorney David Weiss.” -Fox News

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Leaks.

The Crackdown Cometh (Matt Taibbi)

On a flight, reading about the FBI’s arrest of Jack Texiera, already dubbed the “Pentagon Leaker.” A quick review reveals multiple media portraits already out depicting him as a dangerous incel who shared his wares on Discord, a social media app where “racist memes” and “offensive jokes” flourish. Writes the New York Times: “Dark humor about race or ideology can eventually shape the beliefs of impressionable young people, and innocuous memes can be co-opted into symbols of hatred, researchers say.” Well, clearly we can’t have dark humor or innocuous memes! Gitmo cages for all! The Washington Post went with “charismatic gun enthusiast”:

The New York Times summarized key points in the secret defense documents, which among other things suggested “Ukrainian forces are in more dire straits than their government has acknowledged publicly.” Reading what’s out there, it’s not easy to parse what’s a legitimate intelligence concern in reaction to these leaks and what’s mere embarrassment at having been caught lying, to the public, to would-be U.S. allies the documents show we’ve been spying on, etc. You’ll read a lot in the coming days about the dangers of apps like Discord, or of online gaming groups, which counterintelligence officials told the Washington Post today are a “magnet for spies.” The Leaker tale will also surely be framed as reason to pass the RESTRICT Act, the wet dream of creepazoid Virginia Senator Mark Warner, which would give government wide latitude to crack down on “communication technology” creating “undue or unacceptable risk” to national security.


The intelligence community has itself been massively interfering in domestic news using illegal leaks for years. Remember the “Why Did Obama Dawdle on Russia’s Hacking?” story by David Ignatius of the Washington Post in January of 2017, outing would-be Trump National Security Advisor Michael Flynn as having been captured in intercepts speaking with a Russian ambassador? That was just the first in a string of leak- or intercept-based news stories that dominated news cycles in the Trump years, involving everything from conclusions of the FISA court to supposedly secret meetings in the Seychelles. When civilians or whistleblowers like Edward Snowden, Julian Assange (in jail for an incredible four years now), Reality Winner and now the “Discord Leaker” bring leaked information to the public, the immediate threat is Espionage Act charges and decades of jail time. When a CIA head or a top FBI official does it, it’s just news. In fact, officials talk openly about using “strategic leaks” as a P.R. staple. In a world where media currency is becoming the ultimate power, these people want a monopoly. It’s infuriating. Watch how this thing will be spun. It’s going to get ugly fast.

Read more …

View from the Guardian.

Pentagon Leaks Suspect Wins Praise From Far-Right US Politicians And Media (G.)

Washington lawmakers have written off Jack Teixeira, the 21-year-old air national guardsman accused of being behind the worst US intelligence leak in a decade, as an “alleged criminal” after his arrest yesterday, but that hasn’t stopped him from winning praise from the political right. “He revealed the crimes, therefore he’s the criminal. That’s how Washington works. Telling the truth is the only real sin,” declared the Fox News commentator Tucker Carlson on Thursday evening in the opening monologue of his show, which is the most watched on cable television. “The news media are celebrating the capture of the kid who told Americans what’s actually happening in Ukraine. They are treating him like Osama bin Laden,” the late al-Qaida terrorist leader.

Federal prosecutors allege Teixeira took secret documents from the Massachusetts air national guard base where he worked as a low-ranking cyber specialist and posted them online. They first appeared on one of the gaming messaging platform Discord’s servers in January before spreading to other social media sites and being reported on by news outlets earlier this month. Shortly after he was taken into custody in Massachusetts on Thursday, the far-right congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene – who has persistently called for the Joe Biden White House and Washington in general to cut off support to Kyiv – rallied to his defense. “Jake Teixeira is white, male, christian, and anti-war. That makes him an enemy to the Biden regime. And he told the truth about troops being on the ground in Ukraine and a lot more,” she tweeted in an apparent reference to one of the leaked documents that indicates 14 US special forces soldiers were present in Ukraine during the past two months.

“Ask yourself who is the real enemy? A young low level national guardsmen [sic]? Or the administration that is waging war in Ukraine, a non-Nato nation, against nuclear Russia without war powers?” Other documents have revealed details of how the United States gathers its information and how deeply its intelligence agencies have penetrated Russia’s military. Also among the leaked material is a pessimistic assessment of Ukraine’s prospects of recapturing territory from Russia this spring – a subject Carlson seized on. “Ukraine is in fact losing the war,” he said, citing other documents that indicate Washington’s concerns about Kyiv’s ability to defend its airspace. “The Biden administration is perfectly aware of this. They’re panicked about it, but they have lied about this fact to the public. Just two weeks ago, for example, Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin told the US Senate that Russian military power is ‘waning’. In other words, Russia is losing the war. That was a lie. He knew it was when he said it, but he repeated it in congressional testimony. That is a crime, but Lloyd Austin has not been arrested for committing that crime.”

Read more …

“If you illegally leak anything classified against the Biden regime, even if it proves they’re lying about a war… you’ll get raided by the FBI, perp-walked, slammed in the press as a traitor, and probably spend the rest of your life in prison.”

Vindman Leaked Documents To Help Impeach Trump – Never Served Time (GP)

In 2019, Lt. Colonel Alexander Vindman admitted while being questioned by the House Intelligence Committee Tuesday that he had leaked information to an anti-Trump whistleblower at the center of the Democrats’ partisan impeachment proceedings of President Donald Trump. Vindman attempted to provide talking points to Trump prior to his “infamous” Ukraine phone call and then leaked a mischaracterization of the call afterward. Vindman was directly confronted by California Rep. Devin Nunes. Nunes asked: “Lieutenant Colonel Vindman, did you discuss the July 25 phone call with anyone outside the White House on July 25 or the 26, and if so, with whom?” “Yes. I did,” Vindman responded. Vindman was pressed about the details and asked who he spoke with regarding the phone call. Vindman said he talked with two individuals who were not in the White House.

Vindman was asked to provide the names of the people he had spoken with but was cut off by then-Democratic Chair Adam Schiff. “We need to protect the whistleblower. Please stop. I want to make sure that there is no effort to out the whistleblower through these proceedings. If the witness has a good faith belief that this may reveal the identity of the whistleblower, that is not the purpose that we’re here for. I want to advise the witness accordingly.” Vindman was accused of leaking national security information but never served jail time.. One Twitter user made it clear that he believes there is a two-tiered system of justice in place. He said, “Despite destabilizing a Commander-in-Chief and helping provoke a war in Ukraine,” Vindman now goes on chat shows. Whereas Jack Teixeira leaked information showing how the government is lying to you and the world, I’m furtherance of those wars. He’s in a cell now.

[..] Catturd responded by pointing out the vastly different treatment those willing to help the Democrats have received, saying: “Remember the rules…If you illegally leak anything classified against Trump…you’re a brave whistleblower, and you’ll get a million-dollar book deal or a job at CNN. If you illegally leak anything classified against the Biden regime, even if it proves they’re lying about a war… you’ll get raided by the FBI, perp-walked, slammed in the press as a traitor, and probably spend the rest of your life in prison.”

Read more …

“The WHO will be empowered to issue binding requirements for lockdowns, masks, quarantines, border closures, travel restrictions, mandatory vaccinations, mandatory medical examinations and other measures that they see fit.”

Outrageous Plans To Give The WHO Power Over Your Life (Tess Lawrie)

The World Health Organisation (WHO) is proposing the adoption of a ‘Pandemic Treaty’, or ‘Pandemic Accord’ as it is now being called. On Monday, 11 months after a UK petition calling for a debate on the matter reached the threshold of signatures to require a debate in Parliament, this will take place at last. You may be aware that the unelected Director General of the WHO, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, has been on social media recently claiming that this new treaty will not affect individual countries’ sovereignty. However, what you are not being told is that in conjunction with the Pandemic Accord, amendments to the International Health Regulations (2005) have been proposed and are being negotiated. Some of these amendments would cede unprecedented authority to the WHO and raise serious questions with regards to state sovereignty.

Amendments to the International Health Regulations can be adopted by simple majority vote in the World Health Assembly, the governing body of the WHO, without subsequent national ratification procedures. This means that as things stand, these changes can sail through without parliamentary scrutiny and without you, the public, being informed. Instead of being advisory, as is any guidance currently coming out of the WHO, some of the new amendments propose that WHO advice would be legally binding on all state parties and their people. If the amendments are adopted, the unelected and unaccountable Director General of the WHO would be able unilaterally to declare a public health emergency without seeking any advice from member states or WHO committees.

There would be no committees involved in the decision-making, nor would there be any checks and balances on the Director General’s decision. So one unelected, unaccountable person would have the power to take decisions that could result in restricting the lives of billions of people. This is an unimaginable concentration of power. Amongst the more disturbing changes proposed is the removal of a clause requiring the WHO to consider an individual’s human rights in the application of the International Health Regulations. The WHO will be empowered to issue binding requirements for lockdowns, masks, quarantines, border closures, travel restrictions, mandatory vaccinations, mandatory medical examinations and other measures that they see fit.

Proposed amendments also seek to implement an international database system enabling nations to enforce travel restrictions through tools such as vaccine certificates, prophylaxis certificates, testing and recovery certificates along with passenger locator forms and a traveller’s health declaration, all preferably tied to a personal QR code. The proposals further involve significantly increasing the WHO’s funding. Part of this additional funding is required to set up an extensive surveillance process in all member states, which the WHO will verify regularly through a country review mechanism. Both the IHR amendments as well as the proposed Pandemic Accord also encourage systematic global collaboration to counter dissent from official governmental or WHO guidance.

Read more …

Ü

IMF Unveils New Global Currency Known As The “Universal Monetary Unit” (Snyder)

A new global currency just launched, but 99 percent of the global population has no idea what just happened. The “Universal Monetary Unit”, also known as “Unicoin”, is an “international central bank digital currency” that has been designed to work in conjunction with all existing national currencies. This should set off alarm bells for all of us, because the widespread adoption of a new “global currency” would be a giant step forward for the globalist agenda. The IMF did not create this new currency, but it was unveiled at a major IMF gathering earlier this week…

“Today, at the International Monetary Fund (IMF) Spring Meetings 2023, the Digital Currency Monetary Authority (DCMA) announced their official launch of an international central bank digital currency (CBDC) that strengthens the monetary sovereignty of participating central banks and complies with the recent crypto assets policy recommendations proposed by the IMF. Universal Monetary Unit (UMU), symbolized as ANSI Character, Ü, is legally a money commodity, can transact in any legal tender settlement currency, and functions like a CBDC to enforce banking regulations and to protect the financial integrity of the international banking system.”

As the press release quoted above indicates, this new “Universal Monetary Unit” was created by the Digital Currency Monetary Authority. So who in the world is the Digital Currency Monetary Authority? Honestly, I had no idea until I started doing research for this article. The press release says that the organization consists of “sovereign states, central banks, commercial and retail banks, and other financial institutions”… The DCMA is a world leader in the advocacy of digital currency and monetary policy innovations for governments and central banks. Membership within the DCMA consists of sovereign states, central banks, commercial and retail banks, and other financial institutions.

Basically, it sounds like a secretive cabal of international banks and national governments is conspiring to push this new currency down our throats. We are being told that the “Universal Monetary Unit” is “‘Crypto 2.0”, and those that created it are hoping that it will be widely adopted by “all constituencies in a global economy”… The DCMA introduces Universal Monetary Unit as Crypto 2.0 because it innovates a new wave of cryptographic technologies for realizing a digital currency public monetary system with a widespread adoption framework encompassing use cases for all constituencies in a global economy.

Read more …

 

 

 

 

Autism

 

 

Japanese multiplication
https://twitter.com/i/status/1647270979758956544

 

 

Bumble bee

 

 

 

 

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Apr 152023
 
 April 15, 2023  Posted by at 11:55 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , ,  4 Responses »


Brian Griffin Memorial to the Conquerors of Space, Moscow, Russia 1974

 

 

 

Andrew Korybko:

 

Brazilian President Lula was successful in reaching an agreement to de-dollarize his country’s trade with China, the significance of which was earlier explained in the context of his country’s grand strategy here, but failed to convince his counterpart to join a so-called “peace club” on Ukraine during their summit. This is no small shortcoming either since it was promoted by his Foreign Minister as one of the reasons behind his trip in an interview that he gave to the Financial Times (FT) late last month.

Globally prominent outlets such as Bloomberg, France24, the US Government-run “Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty” (RFERL), and others all accordingly reported that this issue would be high on the agenda during Lula’s talks with President Xi. His supporters on social media also went wild getting everyone’s expectations up about this as well, even though “Brazil & China Are Poles Apart When It Comes To Their Envisaged End Games In Ukraine” so it was never likely that anything would come of this.

While China, India, and South Africa have consistently abstained from anti-Russian UNGA Resolutions, Brazil bucked the BRICS trend by always voting against Russia except when it came to suspending it from the Human Rights Council. Lula became the first BRICS leader to personally condemn Russia in his joint statement with Biden back in February, after which he ordered his diplomats to vote in support of the latest anti-Russian UNGA Resolution later that same month.

Foreign Minister Vieira was obviously well aware of the sharp differences between Brazil and China’s officially envisaged end games to this conflict yet he still made it seem to FT like there was a chance that the People’s Republic would tacitly support his country’s position via participation in the “peace club”. That was nothing more than wishful thinking, which belied Brazilian diplomats’ refusal to acknowledge China’s principled approach to this conflict since they in hindsight seemed to assume that it was flexible.

Reality slapped them and their supporters in the face upon the publication of the joint Brazilian-Chinese communique on Friday, which can be read in English on the official website of the Brazilian Ministry of Foreign Affairs here. The ninth paragraph of that document will now be shared in full so as to prove Lula’s failure to sway President Xi to his country’s side contrary to the unrealistic expectation that Vieira set for his trip when talking to the FT late last month:

“Both parties stated that dialogue and negotiation are the only viable way out of the crisis in Ukraine and that all efforts leading to a peaceful solution to the crisis must be encouraged and supported. Brazil received in a positive way the proposal by China that offers reflections conducive to the search for a peaceful solution to the crisis. China received in a positive way the efforts by Brazil in favour of peace. The parties made an appeal for more countries to play a constructive role in the promotion of a political solution to the crisis in Ukraine. The parties decided to keep in contact on this matter.”

As can be seen, absolutely nothing of tangible significance came from Lula’s over-hyped “peace club” proposal. This paragraph of their joint statement is purely perfunctory and simply acknowledges their shared interest in peace without touching upon their sharp differences in terms of how this should be achieved. The “positive way” in which China “received” “the efforts by Brazil in favour of peace” is similar in spirit to Russia’s reported support of the optics connected to Lula’s peace rhetoric.

What’s meant by this was explained more in detail here last week but just refers to Russia and China’s interest in showing the world that the international community wants peace as soon as possible instead of indefinitely perpetuating this proxy war. Their soft power interests in no way even remotely imply endorsement of Lula’s envisaged end game as articulated in his joint condemnation of Russia with Biden and the anti-Russian UNGA Resolution that he ordered his country’s diplomats to vote in support of.

China wasn’t ever going to be manipulated into de facto taking the US’ political side in this conflict against Russia by dint of joining Lula’s “peace club” and thus extending credence to his hostile demand that their shared BRICS partner immediately withdraw from all the territory that Kiev claims as its own. Doing so would have discredited President Xi’s signature peace proposal that his diplomats unveiled on the one-year anniversary of the conflict and which he discussed at length with President Putin in March.

Lula therefore failed in his function as Biden’s “Trojan Horse” for tricking the Chinese leader into informally adopting an anti-Russian policy, but this unfriendly gamble didn’t spoil their much larger success in agreeing to de-dollarize bilateral trade. About that, while it’s indisputably a positive development that’ll accelerate the global systemic transition to multipolarity, his Finance Minister Fernando Haddad made it clear that neither this nor the trip in general were aimed against the US.

In his own words, “It doesn’t make sense to get closer to China and move away from the United States. We want the best relations with the United States and the European Union.” This aligns with the insight that was hyperlinked to in the introduction regarding Brazil’s grand strategy, which was elaborated upon in this piece here from Friday that discusses the significance of Lula’s reported plans to launch a global influence platform in joint partnership with the US Democrats.

To summarize, he believes that Brazil can “balance” – however clumsily and imperfectly – between de-dollarizing with China and aggressively propagating liberalglobalism across the world with the US, thus enabling his country to preemptively avert potentially disproportionate dependence on either. Relations with Russia are limited in this paradigm to commodities (including energy investments) and cooperation on BRICS’ new reserve currency, which are important but pale in comparison to China and the US’ roles.

All told, the grand strategic significance of Lula’s de-dollarization success with China far outweighs his failure to trick it into tacitly adopting an anti-Russian policy by joining his proposed “peace club”, but the second-mentioned outcome still deserves to be discussed. Those who expected this to happen must cogently account for the fact that it didn’t occur, though without resorting to the conspiracy theories that have become popular among his supporters, if they want to retain a semblance of credibility.

 

 

 

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Apr 142023
 
 April 14, 2023  Posted by at 9:15 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , ,  40 Responses »


Jean-Michel Basquiat Warrior 1982

 

US Fanning Ukraine Crisis, Exacerbating Ukrainians’ Suffering – Xinhua (TASS)
CIA Director Concedes US Power Is Waning (RT)
World Faces ‘Most Dangerous Period Of Time In History’ – Trump (RT)
Bolton Touts ‘Grand Strategy’ To Counter Russia and China (RT)
US Military Would Need Conscription to Fight China (ET)
Stalemate Will Force Ukraine To Enact ‘Full Mobilization’ – Media (RT)
Seymour Hersh: The CIA Knows Ukrainian Officials Are Skimming US Aid (Antiwar)
Moscow Urges Washington To Issue Visas To Russian Delegation To UN Events (TASS)
Brazil Rebels Against US Dollar ‘Straitjacket’ (RT)
Frozen Assets To Be Returned To Russia After End Of Conflict (TASS)
UN Seeking To Reconnect Some Russian Banks To SWIFT (RT)
Trump Testifies In New York Business Fraud Case (Az.)
Appeals Court Ruling May Threaten DOJ Position in Dozens of Jan. 6 Cases (ET)
New York Times Is Now Telling Bigger Lies Than Iraq WMDs (Swanson)
Anheuser-Busch Loses $6BN In Six Days After Bud Light Trans Ad Campaign (ZH)

 

 

 

 

RFKjr Milgram

RFK jr autism
https://twitter.com/i/status/1646353148305457155

 

 

 

 

Babies stroke

 

 

Spike sperm
https://twitter.com/i/status/1646520024667148295

 

 

 

 

Rogan Taibbi

 

 

Tucker Musk

 

 

Tucker hot war

DC Draino:
Jack Texeira, the Ukraine Whistleblower, exposed Biden illegally putting US troops in Ukraine w/o Congressional authorization per the War Powers Resolution of 1973, an impeachable offense
His patriotism may end up stopping WW3
He doesn’t deserve jail time
He deserves an award

Pepe Escobar:
Old school Beltway intel source, retired:
Controlled leak.
Internal.
Way, way up – beyond the CIA.
21-year old gamer is a fall guy.
The circus is in town – actually a show that never ends.

 

 

 

 

“..the biggest peacebreaker and troublemaker in today’s world..”

“..It remains to be seen if they have noticed the changes in the Global South and started to reflect on the reasons behind them..”

US Fanning Ukraine Crisis, Exacerbating Ukrainians’ Suffering – Xinhua (TASS)

The United States has been fueling the crisis in Ukraine as it hampers peace there, while inflicting more pain on the Ukrainians, Xinhua said in a commentary on Friday. “As for the Ukraine crisis, the United States is constantly fanning the flame and hindering other countries from promoting talks for peace,” the Chinese news agency said. According to the commentary, leaders of many developing countries believe that by prolonging the crisis, Washington “is exacerbating the Ukrainians’ suffering, and impeding the resolution of other pressing issues facing the international community.” As a result, the international community, especially developing nations, “are more and more vocal in their criticism of the hegemonic and selfish behavior of the United States,” Xinhua maintains. While international peace and stability has been the biggest aspiration for developing countries, the agency argued, “it was made out of reach by the United States – the biggest peacebreaker and troublemaker in today’s world.”


“After the escalation of the Ukraine crisis, US-led Western countries launched severe sanctions against Russia, resulting in a spike of prices of global food, energy and other commodities, which overwhelmed developing countries,” the news agency emphasized. “It is obvious that more and more developing countries are now vocal in their opposition to the various irresponsible actions of the United States, with many refusing to follow the United States in imposing sanctions against Russia,” Xinhua added. “For years, American politicians have been used to pointing fingers at other countries and acting willfully on the international arena. It remains to be seen if they have noticed the changes in the Global South and started to reflect on the reasons behind them,” Xinhua concluded.

Read more …

“..Beijing is “not content to only have a seat at the table; it wants to run the table,” while Russia is seeking to “upend the table altogether.”

CIA Director Concedes US Power Is Waning (RT)

The dominant global role of the US can no longer be guaranteed as the country is witnessing a time of change “that comes along a couple of times a century,” CIA Director Bill Burns has claimed. Speaking at the Baker Institute earlier this week, Burns said that although Washington “still has a better hand to play than any of our rivals,” it is “no longer the only big kid on the geopolitical block and our position at the head of the table isn’t guaranteed.” The CIA chief pointed to growing ties between China and Russia, which he argued will present a “formidable challenge” for his agency for years to come. According to Burns, Beijing is “not content to only have a seat at the table; it wants to run the table,” while Russia is seeking to “upend the table altogether.”

Burns, who served as the US ambassador to Moscow under George W. Bush, condemned Russia’s military operation in Ukraine, calling it an act of “brutish aggression.” He claimed the CIA has provided “good intelligence” that has “helped the Ukrainians defend themselves” and cemented “a strong coalition in support of Ukraine.” Burns added that Kiev’s long-anticipated spring offensive would feature “strong material and intelligence support from the US and our allies.” The spy chief claimed that Russian President Vladimir Putin is “not serious about negotiations” on a peaceful resolution to the conflict, and suggested that only Ukrainian progress on the battlefield was “likely to shape prospects for diplomacy.”

Russia has repeatedly stated that it is open to peace talks and has blamed Kiev and its Western allies for blocking negotiations. Ukraine has placed a legal ban on any talks with Russia as it seeks to defeat its opponent on the battlefield. Regarding China, Burns insisted that Beijing remains the CIA’s “biggest long-term priority.” He noted that in the last few years, the intelligence agency has doubled the resources it focuses on China, including hiring and training Mandarin speakers and stepping up efforts to compete with Beijing on the world stage. “Managing a crucial and increasingly adversarial relationship with China will be the most significant test for American policy makers for decades to come,” the US official said, arguing that the risk of a conflict over Taiwan will continue to grow.

Read more …

“I think it’s much more than infrastructure we’re talking about.”

“..the most dangerous period of time in the history of our country and in the history of the world, right now, and we have an incompetent person at the top.”

World Faces ‘Most Dangerous Period Of Time In History’ – Trump (RT)

The world has been pushed to the brink of total destruction by inept leaders and nuclear weapons that are 500 times as powerful as the atomic bombs that American forces dropped on Japan during World War II, former US president Donald Trump has claimed. “Look, we could end up in World War III over this whole thing,” Trump said in a Fox News interview that was aired on Wednesday night. He added, “I believe it is the most dangerous period of time in history – number one, because we have people on top that are incompetent. That’s number one.” Trump made his comments in the context of the Russia-Ukraine crisis. Russian officials have warned that increasing US and NATO involvement in Ukraine, including massive military aid to Kiev, could escalate the crisis into a wider conflict, possibly involving nuclear weapons.

Asked by host Tucker Carlson who was behind last year’s bombing of Russia’s Nord Stream pipelines in the Baltic Sea, Trump said it wasn’t Moscow. He implied that Washington was involved in the sabotage, saying, “I don’t want to get our country in trouble, so I won’t answer it.” The former president acknowledged that it was “very dangerous” to blow up the pipelines, adding, “I think most people know who did it.” Asked whether the US put itself at risk of retaliatory strikes on its critical infrastructure, he said, “I think it’s much more than infrastructure we’re talking about.”

Trump also warned that nuclear weapons are the biggest threat facing the world today, and the US and Russian arsenals could cause unprecedented destruction. “All it takes is one madman, and you’re gonna have a problem the likes of which the world has never seen.” Trump, who is currently polling as the leading Republican Party candidate in the 2024 presidential race, blamed current US leadership for heightening the risk of nuclear war with Russia and China. “The most dangerous period of time – because of weaponry, because of nuclear, because of weaponry – the most dangerous period of time in the history of our country and in the history of the world, right now, and we have an incompetent person at the top.

Read more …

“Bolton urged Washington to prepare for what happens “after Ukraine wins its war with Russia.”

Bolton Touts ‘Grand Strategy’ To Counter Russia and China (RT)

Former US National Security Advisor John Bolton has urged Washington to implement a new Cold War-style strategy against Russia and China. According to the long-time hawk, the West should cut back on social security to fund military spending, renew testing of nuclear weapons, and provide NATO-like protection to Taiwan. Bolton, who served in the administration of President Donald Trump, described his “grand-strategy” approach to geopolitics in a Wall Street Journal column on Wednesday, urging candidates in the 2024 US presidential election to think in the same terms. The US should have a “contemporary reincarnation” of NSC-68, the top-secret document adopted under President Harry Truman which laid the foundation for militarizing the confrontation with the USSR. Bolton claimed that in the new Cold War, the US and its allies would be pitted against a Chinese-Russian “axis” and “accompanying rogue-state outriders like Iran and North Korea.”

He named several key points for his proposed strategy, including an immediate increase in military spending to Reagan-era levels, which he claimed should be maintained for the foreseeable future. Bolton also argued that Western nations should cut back on social spending, because “neither the obese welfare state nor massive income-redistribution schemes protect us from foreign adversaries.” In addition, he asserted that the US should upgrade its nuclear stockpiles, which would mean “the inevitable need to resume some underground testing.” Bolton’s plan also advocated the “improvement and expansion” of American military alliances, possibly by making NATO a global organization. This would help “exclude Moscow from regional influence, along with Beijing,” the former official claimed.

The self-governed Chinese island of Taiwan should get “much more military aid” from Western nations, which should “embed Taipei into collective-defense structures,” Bolton also suggested. The recommendation comes despite the Chinese government identifying Taiwanese separatism as a major ‘red line’ which may trigger military action if crossed. Finally, Bolton urged Washington to prepare for what happens “after Ukraine wins its war with Russia.” He claimed that such an outcome could lead to Russia’s fragmentation, and warned that China would then seize some of its territories, providing it with “direct access to the Arctic, including even the Bering Strait, facing Alaska.” Moscow has claimed that the conflict in Ukraine is part of a US proxy war against Russia, and that Washington’s goal is to partition the country. The Russian leadership has argued that this threat leaves it with no other option but to succeed in Ukraine.

Read more …

“Our army is too small as constituted to actually prosecute a war with these countries, but it’s large enough that it’s sucking a lot of resources away.”

US Military Would Need Conscription to Fight China (ET)

The U.S. military could not achieve victory in a war with China using its current, all-volunteer force, according to one expert. The United States will thus need to radically transform its force structure to better contend with the emerging threat environment, up to and including by reinstating conscription, said Jonathan Askonas, an assistant professor of Politics at Catholic University of America. “This is a five-alarm fire,” Askonas said during an April 11 discussion with the Hudson Institute think tank. “We’re facing global threats and we have a force structure which we know will not work against those threats. “We basically can’t fight a war larger than Iraq with the all-volunteer force.”

The all-volunteer force has been a staple of U.S. military organization since 1973, when the draft was terminated along with the United States’ direct involvement in the Vietnam War. Unfortunately, Askonas said, the all-volunteer force was proving incapable of generating the number of service members required for a war between great powers, and its burdensome logistical processes were likely to be ineffective in either a conflict with China in the Indo-Pacific theater or supporting European powers against Russia. “We have a Goldilocks problem,” Askonas said. “Our army is too small as constituted to actually prosecute a war with these countries, but it’s large enough that it’s sucking a lot of resources away.”

“We have to be ruthless. We need to adapt our force structure not to hypothetical threats or in some universal Swiss army knife approach, but to the actual threats that we face.” To that end, Askonas suggested that the military should re-adopt a “cadre” system for deploying the military, not dissimilar to that used in World War II. Under such a system, the number of resource-heavy full time service members would be decreased in peacetime in favor of investing in expensive, slow-to-build items like warships.

Read more …

There is no stalemate.

Stalemate Will Force Ukraine To Enact ‘Full Mobilization’ – Media (RT)

The US believes that neither Ukraine nor Russia will achieve major gains on the battlefield this year, and that the ensuing stalemate will force Kiev to call up every last available man to fight, according to leaked Pentagon documents cited by the Washington Post. The US Defense Intelligence Agency views both Kiev and Moscow as having “insufficient troops and supplies for effective operations,” and as such predicts that the conflict in Ukraine will drag on into 2024, with both sides achieving only “marginal” territorial gains this year, the newspaper reported on Wednesday. Nevertheless, “negotiations to end the conflict are unlikely,” the agency reportedly wrote in its assessment, which was included in a trove of leaked documents.

The Post and a number of newspapers have published information from some of these documents, while simultaneously helping the government track down the suspected leaker, who was arrested by the FBI on Thursday after the New York Times published his identity. In a protracted conflict with little chance of victory or negotiations, it is Ukraine that will pay the heaviest price, the Pentagon reportedly believes. Such a stalemate will force Kiev to enact the “full mobilization” of its remaining male population, the Post reported, a move that will trigger public “criticism” of Vladimir Zelensky’s government and make “leadership changes more likely.”

The document also gives scenarios in which Ukraine either scores a decisive victory, forcing Russia to escalate or negotiate, or Russia scores a victory that enables it to demand regime change in Kiev. However, the stalemate outcome is reportedly listed as “the most likely scenario.” Kiev’s efforts to conscript civilians into military service have proven unpopular, with numerous videos surfacing showing men being forcibly detained on the streets and press-ganged into service. With Ukrainian lawmakers reportedly considering expanding the draft, many of those already in uniform have been funneled into the encircled Donbass town of Artyomovsk (known as Bakhmut in Ukraine), which they consider no longer worth defending.

Other recently leaked Pentagon documents revealed that, as of February, the US believes Ukraine has suffered up to 131,000 casualties in the conflict thus far, including up to 17,500 killed. Establishing a true body count is difficult, as Ukraine rarely publishes its losses. Last autumn, EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen put Kiev’s fatalities at 100,000, a claim that was disputed by Kiev and later removed from the EU’s websites. The Post noted that the documents did not specify whether a “leadership change” in Kiev refers to a rotation of political leaders or military brass. Officials in Kiev are reportedly outraged over the leak, which also included information suggesting Ukraine is ill-equipped to mount its long-promised spring counteroffensive.

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“..Burns presented Zelensky with a list of 35 generals and senior government officials whose corruption was known to the CIA. Zelensky responded by dismissing 10 officials..”

“.. Zelensky “has been buying the fuel from Russia, the country with which it, and Washington, are at war, and the Ukrainian president and many in his entourage have been skimming untold millions from the American dollars earmarked for diesel fuel payments.”

Seymour Hersh: The CIA Knows Ukrainian Officials Are Skimming US Aid (Antiwar)

On Wednesday, Investigative journalist Seymour Hersh published a report on Substack that alleged the CIA was aware of widespread corruption in Ukraine and the embezzlement of US aid. The report said the Ukrainian government has been using US taxpayer money to purchase diesel from Russia to fuel its military. Hersh said Zelensky “has been buying the fuel from Russia, the country with which it, and Washington, are at war, and the Ukrainian president and many in his entourage have been skimming untold millions from the American dollars earmarked for diesel fuel payments.” Hersh said according to one estimate by CIA analysts, at least $400 million in funds were embezzled last year. Sources told Hersh that Ukrainian officials are also “competing” to set up front companies for export contracts to private arms dealers around the world.

The issue of corruption was raised during a meeting between CIA Director William Burns and Zelensky in January. An intelligence official with direct knowledge of the meeting told Hersh that Burns delivered a stunning message to Zelensky. Hersh wrote: “The senior generals and government officials in Kiev were angry at what they saw as Zelensky’s greed, so Burns told the Ukrainian president, because ‘he was taking a larger share of the skim money than was going to the generals.’” During the meeting, Burns presented Zelensky with a list of 35 generals and senior government officials whose corruption was known to the CIA. Zelensky responded by dismissing 10 officials who were engaged in flagrant corruption. “The ten he got rid of were brazenly bragging about the money they had—driving around Kiev in their new Mercedes,” the intelligence official said.

Hersh said Zelensky’s “half-hearted response” and the “lack of concern” in the White House angered some US intelligence officials. The intelligence official speaking to Hersh criticized President Biden’s two main foreign policy advisors, Secretary of State Antony Blinken and National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan. “They have no experience, judgment, and moral integrity. They just tell lies, make up stories. Diplomatic deniability is something else,” the official said. The official said there was a “total breakdown between the White House leadership and the intelligence community.” The report said the rift started in the fall when the Nord Stream natural gas pipelines were blown up. According to Hersh’s earlier reporting, President Biden ordered the operation that took out the pipelines. “Destroying the Nord Stream pipelines was never discussed, or even known in advance, by the community,” the official said.

The official said there is “no strategy for ending the war” within the Biden administration and offered more scathing criticism of Blinken and Sullivan. “Burns is not the problem,” the official said. “The problem is Biden and his principal lieutenants—Blinken and Sullivan and their court of worshippers—who see those who criticize Zelensky as being pro-Putin. ‘We are against evil. Ukraine will fight ’til the last military shell is gone, and still fight.’ And here’s Biden who is telling America that we’re going to fight as long as it takes.” Hersh’s story comes after a series of leaked top-secret documents from the Pentagon and other government agencies surfaced online. Some of the documents show US war planning for Ukraine and reveal the US doubts Kyiv’s ability to launch a successful counter-offensive, offering a starkly different view of Ukraine’s abilities than what Biden officials have been saying publicly

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Move the UN. Or dissolve it altogether.

Moscow Urges Washington To Issue Visas To Russian Delegation To UN Events (TASS)

Moscow urges Washington to immediately issue visas to members of Russia’s delegation to events related to the country’s chairmanship of the UN Security Council, Russian Ambassador to the US Anatoly Antonov said. “The request to issue visas for the Russian delegation and the journalists was sent to the US Embassy in Moscow at the end of March. However, not a single entry permission has been granted so far,” the envoy said in a statement, commenting on the issuance of visas to members of the Russian delegation led by Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov. “There was an agreement that the Russian media representatives would visit the American diplomatic mission on March 31 to have their visa applications examined. However, the appointment was canceled without any explanation less than one day prior to it. There is still no certainty, although there are only a few days left before the event,” Antonov noted.


“We urge Washington to immediately issue visas for our delegation, as well as for our journalists. Failure to do that is a violation of the United States’ obligations as the host country of the UN headquarters, which impedes appropriate, full-fledged functioning of the World Organization,” the Russian ambassador stressed. “An incomprehensible situation concerning the Minister’s special flight is evolving. The US authorities have not yet sanctioned the arrival of the aircraft. We expect Americans to promptly grant the flight permission without any conditions or restrictions,” Antonov added. The UN secretary general’s spokesman Stephane Dujarric said at a briefing on Wednesday that the United Nations expected the US to issue visas to members of Lavrov’s delegation, expected to visit the UN headquarters in late April.

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“Every night I ask myself why all countries have to base their trade on the dollar. Why can’t we do trade based on our own currencies?”

Brazil Rebels Against US Dollar ‘Straitjacket’ (RT)

Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva has stated that developing nations should move away from the US dollar in favor of their own currencies in order to push back against American dominance over the global financial system. Speaking in Shanghai on Thursday during an official visit to China, Lula said the BRICS group – comprising Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa – should look for an alternative currency to the dollar for trade. “Every night I ask myself why all countries have to base their trade on the dollar. Why can’t we do trade based on our own currencies?” he said. “Who was it that decided that the dollar was the currency after the disappearance of the gold standard?”

The leftist leader went on to lament that “everyone depends on just one currency,” referring to the dollar, and proposed “a currency to finance trade relations between Brazil and China, between Brazil and other countries.” Lula kicked off his trip to China with an event to mark the appointment of former Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff as the head of the New Development Bank, also known as the ‘BRICS bank,’ which he said could free emerging economies “from submission to traditional financial institutions, which want to govern us.”

Brazilian Finance Minister Fernando Haddad also traveled with the president to China, where he told reporters that Brazil would aim to create trade mechanisms for developing countries to bypass the use of the dollar. “The advantage is to avoid the straitjacket imposed by necessarily having trade operations settled in a currency of a country not involved in the transaction,” he said. Lula’s visit to China comes as Beijing increasingly promotes the use of its own currency, the renminbi, to settle international transactions. Last month, Russia said it had adopted the yuan as one of its primary reserve currencies amid a massive sanctions campaign linked to the conflict in Ukraine, highlighting a gradual shift away from the Western financial system by some major powers.

Trade between China and Brazil has seen a significant boost over the last decade, with more than $150 billion in business recorded last year. Chinese firms have bought up large amounts of minerals and agricultural goods in the South American country, and invested in Brazilian infrastructure. The Brazilian president arrived in China on Wednesday night and will remain there until April 15. After his speech in Shanghai, Lula headed off to Beijing, where he is set to meet with President Xi Jinping on Friday. The two leaders are expected to focus on issues related to trade and foreign policy – such as China’s Belt and Road Initiative, which aims to develop roads, highways and other infrastructure in foreign countries – according to the Financial Times.

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“..the EU’s legal service has not yet found an answer to a question what to do if the EU loses these funds in a certain situation..”

Frozen Assets To Be Returned To Russia After End Of Conflict (TASS)

Lawyers of the European Commission (EC) have arrived at a conclusion that assets of the Bank of Russia frozen in the EU will have to be returned to Russia after the end of the conflict in Ukraine, Die Welt newspaper said on Thursday, citing an unpublished EC document. Assets of the Bank of Russia cannot be simply transferred to Ukraine, EC experts said. “There is political will but legal barriers are high. The European Commission comes to a sobering conclusion that frozen assets cannot be touched since once upon a time, when the war ends, they will have to be returned to Russia,” the newspaper informed. The next one suggested by the EC is to invest frozen assets of the Bank of Russia in European government bonds and use the interest for payments to Kiev. At the same time, the EU’s legal service has not yet found an answer to a question what to do if the EU loses these funds in a certain situation, the newspaper reported. Actions in such case still need to be clarified, Die Welt said.

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“..According to the Kremlin, only half of the agreement is currently being implemented because not all parties have kept their side of the bargain…”

UN Seeking To Reconnect Some Russian Banks To SWIFT (RT)

The United Nations is discussing bringing some Russian banks back to the SWIFT payment system in order to help keep grain shipments from Ukraine going, UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric has said. When asked during a briefing on Wednesday if any progress had been made on Russia’s demands regarding the grain agreement, Dujarric said that UN officials were “trying to doggedly move the process forward.” Moscow warned on Wednesday that the outlook for extending beyond May 18 the grain deal, which ensures the safe export of grain and fertilizer from several Ukrainian Black Sea ports, was “not good.”

The Kremlin has demanded allowing Russian Agricultural Bank to return to SWIFT, permitting Russia to import agricultural machinery, as well as the removal of insurance restrictions, port access for Russian ships and cargo, and an unblocking of the financial activities of Russian fertilizer companies. “Obviously, the fact that a number of Russian financial institutions are not, if not all of them, I’m not sure, are not in the SWIFT system makes things more complicated. And we are in discussions with the people who are responsible for SWIFT and the Europeans and others on that,” Dujarric said.

According to him, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has no authority over SWIFT or over the EU member states that imposed anti-Russia sanctions. “He has no authority over insurance companies, shipping companies. He can’t tell them what to do,” the spokesman stressed, adding that “we’re trying to herd a whole group of people.” While the Western sanctions do not directly target Russian agricultural goods, they affect payments, insurance and shipping. With many Russian banks disconnected from SWIFT, direct settlements for exports have been made difficult. Under the pact, brokered in July last year by the UN and Türkiye, Russia was to receive a sanctions reprieve for its own agricultural goods. However, Moscow has voiced discontent with UN efforts to lift Western restrictions affecting the sector.

According to the Kremlin, only half of the agreement is currently being implemented because not all parties have kept their side of the bargain. In March, Moscow agreed to extend the agreement for 60 days, stressing it would only consider a further extension if the demands in relation to its own exports were met. UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said at the time that the organization would “do everything possible to preserve the integrity” of the deal and make sure that it continued to function. The Black Sea export agreement has reportedly allowed more than 27.5 million tons of food to be shipped out, which, according to the UN, has helped lower food prices across the world.

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Every real estate company makes itself look the best it can. What fraud?

Trump Testifies In New York Business Fraud Case (Az.)

Former US President Donald Trump answered questions Thursday in New York during his second deposition in a civil case accusing him of business fraud, according to Anadolu Agency. The deposition came only a week after Trump’s arraignment on criminal charges in a separate lawsuit. The $250 million lawsuit filed by New York Attorney General Letitia James last year against the ex-president claims that Trump and his family misled banks and business associates about his net worth and the value of some of his assets. Trump denies any wrongdoing. The questions behind closed doors took nearly seven hours, according to media reports. ”This civil case is ridiculous, just like all of the other Election Interference cases being brought against me,” Trump wrote on his social media platform Truth Social ahead of his testimony. Last week, Trump pleaded not guilty to 34 felony counts related to his alleged involvement in a scheme to pay “hush money” to adult film star Stormy Daniels before the 2016 election.

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Obstruction.

Appeals Court Ruling May Threaten DOJ Position in Dozens of Jan. 6 Cases (ET)

An April 7 decision issued by the District of Columbia Court of Appeals may jeopardize a key legal backing used by the Department of Justice (DOJ) to prosecute participants in the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol breach, according to attorney Albert Watkins. “What this opinion did do was, it practically begged for other [Jan. 6] cases to be brought up to the Court of Appeals that would permit a more balanced opinion,” Watkins, who has represented four Jan. 6 defendants, including released prisoner Jacob Chansley, told The Epoch Times on April 11. Watkins’s comment came after a three-judge panel at the D.C. Court of Appeals on April 7, struck down a lower court’s ruling in a 2–1 vote, dismissing a federal charge against three Jan. 6 defendants, and rejected the lower court’s reasoning about the scope of the obstruction charge.

Although the higher court’s ruling (pdf) allowed the DOJ’s prosecution of these three specific defendants—Joseph Fischer, Edward Lang, and Garret Miller—to continue, the effect of the higher court’s opinion extends beyond these cases, the attorney said. According to Watkins, this extended effect has to do with the interpretation of language regarding “corrupt” intention in obstruction charges, considering that the DOJ has been using the obstruction charge as an “attractive” legal tool to prosecute Jan. 6 cases and score plea agreements. According to a provision in the statute for obstruction charge (18 U.S. Code Section 1512 2(c)), “Whoever corruptly … obstructs, influences, or impedes any official proceeding, or attempts to do so, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than 20 years, or both.”

A narrowed definition of this provision could hinder the DOJ’s ability to use the charge further and introduce uncertainties in the ongoing trials, the attorney indicated. The DOJ had charged more than 200 Jan. 6 defendants with obstruction-related charges. “It should cause a certain degree of trepidation on the part of the Department of Justice about utilizing—in a very footloose and fancy-free fashion—the obstruction of an official proceeding charge as the count of choice for pleas,” Watkins said. “I will say it was, in many respects, an extraordinary opinion—more time was spent addressing potential issues not before the court than the issues actually before the court.”

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“What in the world would it mean to oppose organized mass murder because it skews right wing?”

New York Times Is Now Telling Bigger Lies Than Iraq WMDs (Swanson)

The New York Times routinely tells bigger lies than the clumsy nonsense it published about weapons in Iraq. Here’s an example. This package of lies is called “Liberals Have a Blind Spot on Defense” but mentions nothing related to defense. It simply pretends that militarism is defensive by applying that word and by lying that “we face simultaneous and growing military threats from Russia and China.” Seriously? Where? The U.S. military budget is more than those of most nations of the world combined. Only 29 nations, out of some 200 on Earth, spend even 1 percent what the U.S. does. Of those 29, a full 26 are U.S. weapons customers. Many of those receive free U.S. weapons and/or training and/or have U.S. bases in their countries.

Only one non-ally, non-weapons customer (albeit a collaborator in bioweapons research labs) spends over 10% what the U.S. does, namely China, which was at 37% of U.S. spending in 2021 and likely about the same now despite the highly horrifying increases widely reported in the U.S. media and on the floor of Congress. (That’s not considering weapons for Ukraine and various other U.S. expenses.) While the U.S. has planted military bases around Russia and China, neither has a military base anywhere near the United States, and neither has threatened the United States. Now, if you don’t want to fill the globe with U.S. weaponry and provoke Russia and China on their borders, the New York Times has some additional lies for you: “Defense spending is about as pure an application of a domestic industrial policy — with thousands of good-paying, high-skilled manufacturing jobs — as any other high-tech sector.”

No, it is not. Just about any other way of spending public dollars, or even not taxing them in the first place, produces more and better jobs. Here’s a doozie: “Liberals also used to be hostile to the military on the assumption that it skewed right wing, but that’s a harder argument to make when the right is complaining about a ‘woke military.’” What in the world would it mean to oppose organized mass murder because it skews right wing? What the hell else could it skew? I oppose militarism because it kills, destroys, damages the Earth, drives homelessness and illness and poverty, prevents global cooperation, tears down the rule of law, prevents self-governance, produces the dumbest pages of the New York Times, fuels bigotry, and militarizes police, and because there are better ways to resolve disputes and to resist the militarism of others. I’m not going to start cheering for mass killings because some general doesn’t hate enough groups.

Then there’s this lie: “The Biden administration touts the size of its $842 billion budget request, and in nominal terms it’s the largest ever. But that fails to account for inflation.” If you look at U.S. military spending according to SIPRI in constant 2021 dollars from 1949 to now (all the years they provide, with their calculation adjusting for inflation), Obama’s 2011 record will probably fall this year. If you look at actual numbers, not adjusting for inflation, Biden has set a new record each year. If you add in the free weapons for Ukraine, then, even adjusting for inflation, the record fell this past year and will probably be broken again in the coming year.

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How to kill a brand.

Anheuser-Busch Loses $6BN In Six Days After Bud Light Trans Ad Campaign (ZH)

After reaching a three-year high of $66.73 per share, Bud Light parent company Anheuser Busch Inbev lost more than $6 billion in market cap since announcing its partnership with 26-year-old transgender ‘influencer’ Dylan Mulvaney on April 2, as bar owners and distributors report a sharp decline in Bud Light sales over the past week. The company’s market cap fell as low as $125.7 billion, down from $132.8 billion six days ago, a drop of more than five-percent. Meanwhile competitor Molson Coors (TAP) saw $350 million added to its market cap over the last week. Bud Light’s partnership with Mulvaney included custom cans featuring his face and pro-LGBTQ language to commemorate the biological male’s ‘being a woman’ for over a year.


The ad campaign kicked off with naked Mulvaney drinking Bud Light in a bathtub. And while Anheuser-Busch issued a statement in support of Mulvaney, saying it “works with hundreds of influencers across our brands as one of many ways to authentically connect with audiences across various demographics,” the Daily Wire reports that company executives had no idea about the ad campaign. “No one at the senior level” of the company was aware of Bud Light’s polarizing partnership with Dylan Mulvaney, sources close to the situation claim. The company is also allegedly pausing its marketing efforts and scrambling to implement a more “robust” process for evaluating future influencer partnerships.

“No one at a senior level was aware this was happening,” said one source, who was granted anonymity to discuss sensitive internal discussions. “Some low-level marketing staffer who helps manage the hundreds of influencer engagements they do must have thought it was no big deal. Obviously it was, and it’s a shame because they have a well-earned reputation for just being America’s beer — not a political company. It was a mistake.” A second source also claimed that a lower level employee had made the decision to include Mulvaney in the campaign, a move that appears to have cost the company $5 billion in market value. The backlash to the iconic American beer brand has been so intense that a Budweiser distributor in Missouri canceled an event with the company’s famous Clydesdale horses because everything was “still sensitive” over the matter.” -Daily Wire

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Goats on trees
https://twitter.com/i/status/1646533792495206403

 

 


An albino tree is unable to produce chlorophyll & survives by obtaining sugar through neighboring trees’ roots

 

 

 

 

Support the Automatic Earth in virustime with Paypal, Bitcoin and Patreon.

 

 

 

 

 

Apr 082023
 
 April 8, 2023  Posted by at 8:00 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , ,  46 Responses »


John William Waterhouse It’s Sweet Doing Nothing / Dolce Far Niente 1879

 

Iran and Saudi Arabia: A Chinese win-win (Pepe Escobar)
Xi Divides And Conquers During Macron’s China Visit (Fomenko)
The Hero’s Journey (Kunstler)
More Classified US Documents Shared In New Leak – NYT (RT)
The Leaked ‘Secret Plan’ For A Ukrainian Military Offensive Doesn’t Add Up (MC)
NATO Should Not Be Near Russian Borders – Lula (TASS)
West Didn’t Allow Time For Peace In Ukraine – Lula (RT)
West In No Position To Issue Instructions On Ukraine To Beijing – Envoy (TASS)
Moscow Reacts To Blinken’s Counteroffensive Claim (RT)
Kiev Prepares Provocation To Discredit Russia – Russian Defense Ministry (TASS)
US Resumes Biolabs Program In Ukraine – Russian MOD (RT)
How Was ERIC Used to Steal Elections? (Emerald)
Attack of the Censorship Karens! (Shellenberger)
Proud Boys Attorney Wants to Unmask Informants During Jan. 6 Trial (NW)
‘A Silver Lining’: How Covid Ushered In A Vaccines Golden Era (G.)
Cancer And Heart Disease Vaccines ‘Ready By End Of The Decade’ (G.)

 

 

 

 

Habba


Byron Donalds

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Get MAD
https://twitter.com/i/status/1644410537990828033

 

 

 

 

Gonzalo

 

 

 

 

Pepe on Twitter:
“5,000 years of civilization. Against a bunch of upstart barbarians. BRIICSS is already on. Led by RICs. With Iran and Saudi close to the front seat. Bring it on, suckers.”

Iran and Saudi Arabia: A Chinese win-win (Pepe Escobar)

The idea that History has an endpoint, as promoted by clueless neoconservatives in the unipolar 1990s, is flawed, as it is in an endless process of renewal. The recent official meeting between Saudi Foreign Minister Faisal bin Farhan al-Saud and Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian in Beijing marks a territory that was previously deemed unthinkable and which has undoubtedly caused grief for the War Inc. machine. This single handshake signifies the burial of trillions of dollars that were spent on dividing and ruling West Asia for over four decades. Additionally, the Global War on Terror (GWOT), the fabricated reality of the new millennium, featured as prime collateral damage in Beijing.

Beijing’s optics as the capital of peace have been imprinted throughout the Global South, as evidenced by a subsequent sideshow where a couple of European leaders, a president, and a Eurocrat, arrived as supplicants to Xi Jinping, asking him to join the NATO line on the war in Ukraine. They were politely dismissed. Still, the optics were sealed: Beijing had presented a 12-point peace plan for Ukraine that was branded “irrational” by the Washington beltway neocons. The Europeans – hostages of a proxy war imposed by Washington – at least understood that anyone remotely interested in peace needs to go through the ritual of bowing to the new boss in Beijing.

Tehran-Riyadh relations, of course, will have a long, rocky way ahead – from activating previous cooperation deals signed in 1998 and 2001 to respecting, in practice, their mutual sovereignty and non-interference in each other’s internal affairs. Everything is far from solved – from the Saudi-led war on Yemen to the frontal clash of Persian Gulf Arab monarchies with Hezbollah and other resistance movements in the Levant. Yet that handshake is the first step leading, for instance, to the Saudi foreign minister’s upcoming trip to Damascus to formally invite President Bashar al-Assad to the Arab League summit in Riyadh next month. It’s crucial to stress that this Chinese diplomatic coup started way back with Moscow brokering negotiations in Baghdad and Oman; that was a natural development of Russia stepping in to help Iran save Syria from a crossover NATO-Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) coalition of vultures.

Then the baton was passed to Beijing, in total diplomatic sync. The drive to permanently bury GWOT and the myriad, nasty ramifications of the US war of terror was an essential part of the calculation; but even more pressing was the necessity to demonstrate how the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), or Iran nuclear deal, had become irrelevant. Both Russia and China have experienced, inside and out, how the US always manages to torpedo a return to the JCPOA, as it was conceived and signed in 2015. Their task became to convince Riyadh and GCC states that Tehran has no interest in weaponizing nuclear power – and will remain a signatory of the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). Then it was up to Chinese diplomatic finesse to make it quite clear that the Persian Gulf monarchies’ fear of revolutionary Shi’ism is now as counter-productive as Tehran’s dread of being harassed and/or encircled by Salafi-jihadis. It’s as if Beijing had coined a motto: drop these hazy ideologies, and let’s do business.

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“Beijing is by no means out of the game, because as much as the US can play divide and conquer against EU countries, so can China – and the outcome of the visit demonstrates that very well..”

Xi Divides And Conquers During Macron’s China Visit (Fomenko)

French President Emmanuel Macron has wrapped up a three-day visit to China, accompanied partly by European Commission Chief Ursula von der Leyen, who went home a day earlier. The dual visit came at a time when EU nations, worried about a growing Sino-Russian partnership, are looking for ways to strengthen their own diplomatic engagement with Beijing. Von der Leyen’s presence on the trip was widely seen as a “check” on Macron, there to ensure he complied with “European unity” on the matter of the EU’s relationship with China. Before the visit, she gave a hawkish address warning China against supporting Russia in the Ukraine conflict and slamming Beijing for becoming “more repressive at home and more assertive abroad.”

[..] the US has long been pushing very aggressively to undermine China’s prospects in the EU. It has been waging a public opinion war against Beijing, using its own state-sponsored think-tanks, and pushing issues such as human rights to create negative sentiment and to block engagement, such as on the Comprehensive Agreement on Investment (CAI), which was proposed back in 2013 and is still pending ratification a decade later. Similarly, the US uses bilateral and unilateral diplomacy to undermine China’s relationships with specific European countries in a bid to wreck its attempts to engage with the bloc as a whole. For example, the US explicitly supported Lithuania in undermining the ‘One China’ principle by opening a “Taiwan representative office.” It also forced the Netherlands to agree to new export controls on sending advanced lithography machines (used for making computer chips) to China.

Similarly, because the EU could never agree to a comprehensive ban of Huawei’s application in 5G networks in 2020, the US simply resorted to bilaterally approaching countries one by one, making them agree to the ban until those states that were not on board, such as Germany, were effectively isolated and could not drive the EU agenda. Ultimately, the EU is a bloc which can only operate by consensus between all of its member states, but if the US can undermine that consensus, it can throw a spanner in the works and break the entire machine. This is why it is so difficult for Europe to truly create an “autonomous” foreign policy capable of serving coherent “European interests.” This means when nations such as France and Germany declare their desire for engagement with China, they of course have influence, but the overall effect is never truly consistent.

The bloc is being subjected to a constant tug of war in its foreign policy direction, which ultimately shows that Europe remains more of a passenger, rather than a player, in the world of US-China competition. However, despite the traditional dominance of the US over Europe, Beijing is by no means out of the game, because as much as the US can play divide and conquer against EU countries, so can China – and the outcome of the visit demonstrates that very well. Having given von der Leyen and her message of “unity” a noticeably cooler reception, the Chinese hosted a cordial tea ceremony for Macron, after signing a joint communique that spoke at length about improving trade, economic and cultural ties, but made barely any mention of the main political sticking point between China and the EU – Beijing’s good relations with Moscow and Xi’s refusal to condemn Russian President Vladimir Putin over the Ukraine crisis.

For China, this is a clear win. For France, this is a win in terms of enduring business and economic relations with China, but a loss in that all of Macron’s attempt to change Xi’s mind on Putin and Ukraine were comprehensively stonewalled. For von der Leyen, whose mission in Beijing was purely political, it was a complete failure. Not only did her message fall on deaf ears, the wooing of France continued unabated under her nose. But perhaps most importantly, the result of this visit dealt a blow to US agenda, showing that positive relations between China and the EU are worth working towards and Washington’s attempts to drive wedges between them are, so far, futile.

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“I’m aboard for the ride. It’s going to be goshdarn interesting and I hope the bastards don’t try to kill him, because that will really be the end for us.”

The Hero’s Journey (Kunstler)

There is a deep, primal wish in the American psyche to correct the damage to our country caused by the murders of John F. Kennedy and his brother Robert. November 22, 1963 was exactly when this nation went off the rails, and many Americans understand that. RFK, Jr. has stated unambiguously that he believes the CIA killed his uncle, the president. And he recently supported the parole of his father’s killer, Sirhan B. Sirhan, suggesting that there was a whole lot more to Bobby’s assassination than that patsy. Here’s the heart of the matter: that wish to correct the abominations of history is a sentiment much stronger than anything else currently whirring in the fog of emotion that grips a nation in extremis, certainly stronger than all the bullshit embedded in equity, diversity, and inclusion and the bad faith aspirations of the climate change / Great Reset claque. RFK, Jr., represents a way out of all that. He may be strong enough and honorable enough to make that our new national reality.

Then there is Mr. Trump. He’s been on his own even stranger hero’s journey, considering his origins in real estate and showbiz, and his personal peccadillos. Mr. Trump also recognized the evil afoot in our country and he set out to correct all that. He was attacked unfairly and incessantly by people of bad character and ill intent, even to this day as he faces an absurd political prosecution in Manhattan. You have to admire his fortitude and resilience in the face of such massed official bad faith. His first time around in the White House, though, Mr. Trump kind of muffed the job. He had many opportunities to disarm and fire antagonists like Christopher Wray and the perfidious generals who kept backstabbing him, but he just didn’t do it. He got played on the whole Covid fraud and still hasn’t renounced the killer “vaccines” developed in the Warp Speed flimflam.


While I consider the New York case brought by DA Alvin Bragg to be a disreputable shuck and jive, over which Mr. Trump will prevail, and while I recognize him as the current leader in the battle against a Globalist putsch, I think Mr. Kennedy would be a far better choice to clean up the mess that has been made of us. I was particularly unnerved by Mr. Trump’s speech at Mar-a-Lago the night of his indictment. I know many find his manner charming, but to me his mode of speaking seems childish and weirdly inarticulate — and the last thing this country needs is more rhetorical confusion. And I’m also disturbed by the histrionic trappings that went with it — the grandiose music, the myriad flags and seals. It actually has a banana republic flavor. Mr. Kennedy, on the other hand, brings a solemn humility to the scene. Even in his quavering voice, he speaks clearly and with insight. He’s an excellent writer. He reminds me much more of what was good about our country and the men it once produced than the flamboyant Golden Golem of Greatness. I’m aboard for the ride. It’s going to be goshdarn interesting and I hope the bastards don’t try to kill him, because that will really be the end for us.

RFKjr Camus

Watters RFK jr

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“..the new leak does not stop with Ukraine and covers a variety of other subjects, including “sensitive briefing slides on China, the Indo-Pacific military theater, the Middle East and terrorism..”

More Classified US Documents Shared In New Leak – NYT (RT)

Scores of secret US national security files have appeared online after another major leak, the New York Times reported, noting that the new documents include “sensitive” material related to Ukraine, China, the Middle East and terrorism. The breach comes just one day after other “top secret” papers showing US and NATO war plans in Ukraine made the rounds on social media. The new trove of documents was spotted on Twitter and other sites on Friday afternoon, in what one senior US intelligence official described as a “nightmare” for Western security services, according to the Times. While the full scope of the leak has yet to be determined and the authenticity of the files remains unverified, the outlet suggested the latest breach could include “more than 100 documents” in total.

Similar to another classified disclosure first reported on Thursday, some of the files detail intelligence related to the conflict in Ukraine. One “top secret” document shows a US assessment of the situation in the city of Artyomovsk (known as Bakhmut in Ukraine), which has largely come under Moscow’s control after months of bitter fighting. However, the new leak does not stop with Ukraine and covers a variety of other subjects, including “sensitive briefing slides on China, the Indo-Pacific military theater, the Middle East and terrorism,” the Times added, stating that the scale of the breach appears to have caught the White House “off guard.”

The Pentagon said on Thursday that it would investigate the matter, while the Justice Department later announced its own separate probe. It said it was in communication with military officials, but neither have shared any additional details. Following the prior leak earlier this week, officials said they were working to remove the material from the internet, though those efforts appear to have been unsuccessful so far, as many of the documents remain accessible on social media. According to one unnamed official cited by the Times, determining the source of the breach would begin with “identifying which officials had access to them.” Staffers at several national security agencies described a “rush” to find the leaker, voicing concerns that this week’s disclosures would turn into a “steady drip of classified information” published online.

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A “processed”, “prepared” leak?

From ‘Military Chronicle’ Telegram channel.

The Leaked ‘Secret Plan’ For A Ukrainian Military Offensive Doesn’t Add Up (MC)

On Friday, photos appeared of a document allegedly containing details on a planned imminent Ukrainian offensive on territories controlled by Russia. The ‘leak’ coincided with suggestions that the NATO Defender 2023 exercises – planned for the end of this month – could be a cover for an operation to supply and support Ukrainian units. However, upon closer examination, doubts arise concerning the document’s authenticity. When did it appear? The supposed secret plans to support an offensive by Kiev’s forces hit the internet the day before Anthony Blinken made a statement on the subject. The US Secretary of State said the operation will begin “within a few weeks.”

What information does it contain?There hasn’t been a leak of this nature since Moscow’s military campaign in Ukraine began, over 13 months ago. It is noteworthy that the published plans contain not only a schedule for supplying Ukrainian units with NATO weapons and ammunition, but also information about the structure of the brigades and battalions allegedly preparing for the offensive. The document, dated March 1, says Kiev’s brigades need 253 tanks, more than 380 infantry fighting vehicles and APCs, 480 vehicles, 147 artillery pieces, and 571 HMMWV armored vehicles to carry out the offensive.

Which information is most suspect? The probable locations of Russian units, indicated on the combat map in red, appear to have been collected from open sources. Several pro-Kiev resources that track military operations contain almost identical information. Also, the ratios of killed and wounded for the Ukrainian and Russian Armed Forces which initially appeared in these ‘secret plans’ have since been changed. When first posted, the losses for the Ukrainian side were underestimated at about 16,500 –17,000 people. Then (probably to be more realistic), they increased almost fivefold, up to 65,000 – 75,000. At the same time, the numbers given for Russia’s purported losses of vehicles and equipment coincide with data published by Kiev’s Ministry of Defense.

What else is wrong with the published AFU offensive plans? The blatant falsification of data on the readiness of Ukrainian military formations catches the eye. The document states that, of the nine supposedly to be trained up to US and NATO standards by March 31 and April 30, five of Kiev’s brigades have had zero training: these are the 82nd Airborne, the 32nd, 117th, and 118th Territorial Defense, as well as the 21st separate mechanized. Even if only two or three companies in these brigades were trained, and self-preparation wasn’t completed, their level of training couldn’t be zero. At the same time, the highest percentage of readiness was recorded only in the 47th mechanized(40%) and the 46th airborne assault (60%).

What’s the upshot? The plan also gives perplexing figures for military equipment. For example, out of 109 M2 Bradley BMPs sent to armed forces, for some reason only 99 are to participate in the offensive. Moreover, the vehicles are not distributed among the brigades and only assigned to one formation – Kiev’s 47th mechanized brigade, which doesn’t have heavy tanks. Rather than Soviet T-72s or T-64BVs, this grouping has only Slovak T-55Ss with 105mm guns, which are difficult to use in a large-scale offensive. The small, but important, errors and inaccuracies in the calculations of equipment, the adjusted accounting of losses, as well as the presence of units with ‘zero’ readiness, indicate that this document, which was issued as a ‘secret plan,’ was probably prepared and distributed not by the military but by a group of civilians, probably pro-Kiev analysts.

The purpose of this planted misinformation may be to underreport the actual number of combat-ready Ukrainian units to be deployed for the offensive or to distract attention from other events related to the real operation.

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“Lula da Silva said that Russia was the guarantor of a long-lasting peace in the world..”

NATO Should Not Be Near Russian Borders – Lula (TASS)

Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva insists that the North Atlantic Alliance should not be close to Russia’s borders and that this issue could be a provision at peace talks on Ukraine. “NATO should not be able to deploy [its forces] on [Russia’s] borders,” he said at a press breakfast on Thursday. However, he said, all parties to the conflict should make concessions. According to him, the ownership of Crimea, “perhaps, must not be discussed at all,” while the new Russian regions are worth understanding. “But [Ukrainian President Vladimir] Zelensky may not count on anything he wants,” the politician argued. Earlier, Lula da Silva said that Russia was the guarantor of a long-lasting peace in the world. He has come up with an initiative to develop a new international format for the potential Moscow-Kiev talks, as he stressed he was ready to mediate direct negotiations between Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Ukrainian counterpart Vladimir Zelensky, if need be.

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“We think that the developed world, especially the EU and the US, had the option not to enter the war the way they did, so fast, without spending time trying to negotiate..”

West Didn’t Allow Time For Peace In Ukraine – Lula (RT)

Neither Ukraine nor Russia can achieve every goal they’ve set in their conflict, but they need a mediator to facilitate peace talks, Brazil’s President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva has told journalists. The EU and the US were too quick to back Kiev, he has concluded, instead of trying to deescalate the situation. “It is not necessary to have a war,” Lula said on Thursday, during a media breakfast at the Palacio do Planalto, the official presidential workplace. He also criticized the US and its allies for their role in the conflict. “We think that the developed world, especially the EU and the US, had the option not to enter the war the way they did, so fast, without spending time trying to negotiate,” he explained. “Negotiating peace is very complicated.”

The Brazilian leader is set to travel next week to China, a nation with a similar position on Ukraine to his own. He said he hoped that his contacts with President Xi Jinping will help bring about a conversation “that we should have had a year ago.” India and Indonesia may have a role, too, he added. Explaining his view on how the hostilities could end, he suggested that the status of Crimea should be excluded from the discussion, but stressed that Russian President Vladimir Putin “cannot keep the land in Ukraine.” Citizens in Crimea voted in 2014 to break away from Ukraine and rejoin Russia, after an armed coup in Kiev. A similar drive for independence arose in the Donetsk and Lugansk regions, but Moscow urged the breakaway Donbass to remain part of Ukraine. Kiev deployed military force in an attempt to quash the rebellion but failed.

Moscow has cited continued Ukrainian military attacks against the then-self-proclaimed Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics, as well as Kiev’s stonewalling of an EU-brokered reconciliation plan, as key reasons for the deployment of troops against Ukraine in February 2022. Later in the year, the two Donbass regions, along with the Kherson and Zaporozhye regions, held referendums on rejoining Russia. Kiev dismissed the ballots, which voted to rejoin, as “sham,” but Moscow said the status of its new parts was not subject to negotiation. Lula believes that Ukraine’s President Vladimir Zelensky “can’t want everything either.” Kiev has declared a military victory over Russia and a return of all lands, including Crimea, as preconditions for entering peace talks.

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“What China is doing can be described in a single phrase: calling for peace and facilitating negotiations. We will continue to stand steadfastly for peace, dialogue and historical justice..”

West In No Position To Issue Instructions On Ukraine To Beijing – Envoy (TASS)

The West is not in any position to give instructions to Beijing concerning the situation in Ukraine, Chinese Ambassador to Russia Zhang Hanhui said in an interview with the Izvestia daily, published on Friday. “The West is in no position to be issuing instructions to China, the more so since it doesn’t have any authority to shift responsibility over to Beijing. Since the crisis began, China has consistently put forward [for discussion] ‘four needs,’ ‘four commonalities’ and ‘three topics for consideration,’ as well as a position paper titled ‘China’s Position on a Political Solution to the Ukrainian Crisis,’ [and has] actively been promoting efforts to resolve the issue through dialogue and negotiations,” the envoy pointed out, commenting on the West’s accusations that China is supporting Russia in the conflict in Ukraine.


The diplomat also stressed that Beijing had not provided weapons to any party to the conflict. “China does not have its own interests in the Ukraine issue, but it is not merely an outside observer and certainly does not seek to add fuel to the fire, or seize an opportunity to benefit from the situation. What China is doing can be described in a single phrase: calling for peace and facilitating negotiations. We will continue to stand steadfastly for peace, dialogue and historical justice,” the Chinese ambassador noted.

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“..Blinken’s remarks appeared to be “a statement that is a subject for examination by our military.”

Moscow Reacts To Blinken’s Counteroffensive Claim (RT)

The Russian military will likely scrutinize comments made by US Secretary of State Antony Blinken after he predicted a potential timeframe for a Ukrainian counteroffensive, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov has said. In an interview on Friday with Ouest-France and German media group Funke, Blinken stated that the US and its allies should “do everything… to help Ukraine reconquer the territories taken by Russia, including through a counteroffensive, expected in the coming weeks.” In response, Peskov noted that Russia uses all available information in planning its operations in the conflict with Ukraine, and that Blinken’s remarks appeared to be “a statement that is a subject for examination by our military.” “They thoroughly track all the relevant information and take it into account when planning the continuation of the special military operation,” the presidential spokesman explained.

Kiev and its Western backers have increasingly talked up a major counteroffensive by Ukrainian forces, supposedly set to take place sometime during the spring. The operation will reportedly involve tanks and other hardware provided by the West, as well as Ukrainian troops trained abroad. The advance would purportedly be aimed at restoring Ukraine’s borders as they were before 2014. This includes the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics and Zaporozhye and Kherson Regions, which all voted to become part of Russia in referendums last autumn, as well as Crimea, which reunited with Moscow nine years ago.

Former Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, who currently serves as deputy head of the Security Council, previously cast doubt on Ukraine’s ability to carry out such a large-scale operation, arguing that the claims by officials in Kiev were merely “propaganda.” On Thursday, the New York Times reported that the Pentagon had launched an investigation after a trove of classified data on US and NATO activities to prepare Kiev for a counteroffensive were leaked online. The papers, whose source is unclear, assessed areas such as troop strengths, timelines for arms shipments, and ammunition expenditure. However, they did not state when exactly the operation was scheduled to start.

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“..to divert the attention of the international community from the facts of numerous war crimes published by the UN, committed by the Ukrainian army and militants of nationalist groups.”

Kiev Prepares Provocation To Discredit Russia – Russian Defense Ministry (TASS)

Kiev is preparing a large-scale information campaign to discredit Russia on the international arena. A representative of the interdepartmental coordination headquarters of Russia for humanitarian response in Ukraine said this to reporters on Saturday. “According to available data, confirmed by several independent sources, a large-scale provocation aimed at discrediting the Russian Federation on the international arena is being prepared under the leadership of the office of the President of Ukraine,” the headquarters said. They specified that the Kiev regime would hold a special information campaign to divert the attention of the international community from the facts of numerous war crimes published by the UN, committed by the Ukrainian army and militants of nationalist groups.

Lavrov
https://twitter.com/i/status/1644286793057968130

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What a surprise. Maybe they should hire Fauci.

US Resumes Biolabs Program In Ukraine – Russian MOD (RT)

The US has quietly resumed its controversial biolabs program in Ukraine and is focusing on the construction of secretive new facilities and the training of personnel, the Russian Defense Ministry has claimed. A new trove of documents on alleged US-funded biological programs in Ukraine was presented by the commander of Russia’s Nuclear, Biological and Chemical Defense Forces, Lieutenant General Igor Kirillov, during a media briefing on Friday. Kirillov cited the protocol from a meeting dated October 20, 2022, which was attended by representatives of the US Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA) and multiple Ukrainian officials, as well as figures from the Jacobs/CH2M engineering company. The meeting reportedly focused on the resumption of biological research in Ukraine, which was “paused” due to the hostilities between Moscow and Kiev.

“Now, the project has been resumed with focus on renewal of legislative support, revision of training schedule, as well as conclusion and resumption of construction work,” the Ukrainian-language protocol stated, citing Jacobs/CH2M’s David Smith. The program was previously known as ‘Joint biological research’ but has been rebranded as ‘Biological control research’, the document indicated. It cited concerns over an alleged “Russian disinformation campaign” on the issue. The US has engaged in damage control efforts to prevent potential leaks from Ukrainian specialists on the true nature of the biological research programs, Kirillov asserted. “Hiding from responsibility for participating in military biological projects, many suspects left the territory of Ukraine. To prevent a possible leak of information about the illegal activities of the Pentagon, the US administration is taking emergency measures to search for and return them,” the commander argued.

US damage control began shortly after the outbreak of the conflict in February 2022, another document suggested. The Russian military presented a draft memo titled ‘Reducing the Threat of Ukrainian Expertise Proliferating to US Adversaries’, penned by Laura Denlinger, a senior counterproliferation adviser with the US State Department. “The Russian invasion of Ukraine has resulted in… the exodus of highly capable technical experts from Ukrainian facilities that produce missile components and advanced conventional weapons (ACW), as well as those with expertise that could be redirected and exploited by others for a chemical, biological, radiological, or nuclear (CBRN) weapon,” reads the memo, dated March 11, 2022. Moscow raised allegations of a sprawling network of secretive US-funded biological laboratories in Ukraine early in the conflict, and has since frequently published troves of documents on the matter. Russia took the issue of biolabs to the UN last October, requesting an international probe. The motion, however, was turned down by the UN Security Council, with the US, UK, and France voting against it.

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“In other words, ERIC was a Democrat activist group pretending to be a non-partisan voting rights organization.”

How Was ERIC Used to Steal Elections? (Emerald)

Did you know that a system called the Electronic Registration Information Center (ERIC) was used in America’s recent elections to subvert our democracy? What is ERIC, you ask?This is how its designers describe the system in a short video.

https://twitter.com/i/status/1625671317910441985

Seems helpful, doesn’t it? Keeping America’s voter rolls “up to date” seems a worthy mission for a non-profit. That’s why 30 states signed up (at one point) to use this supposedly “non-partisan” system.It turns out that ERIC was not really a “non-partisan” system of course — since it was used by Democrats to cheat in our recent elections. How was ERIC used maliciously in recent elections exactly?

In a bombshell report, Hayden Ludwig has uncovered records full of coordination between state election officials using ERIC and Mark Zuckerberg’s Center for Election Innovation and Research (CEIR) going back to 2020. Emails showed election officials in Georgia and Rhode Island sharing voter information from ERIC with Zuckerberg’s Democrat activists. Georgia elections officials actually sent ERIC data to CEIR to generate a list of eligible-but-unregistered individuals (to target with registration mailers) that was sent back to ERIC and then sent along to Georgia! In other words, ERIC was a Democrat activist group pretending to be a non-partisan voting rights organization. In fact, ERIC was apparently created by a Democrat lawyer named David Becker in 2012 — and that same David Becker left ERIC to work for Zuckerberg’s CEIR in 2016.


Convenient, isn’t it? Now you know why some blue states don’t want to clean up their voter rolls at all. In fact, election integrity groups have been forced to sue states like Michigan to clean up their rolls against the wishes of election officials. The good news is that Florida, West Virginia, and Missouri just announced they were leaving the ERIC partnership last month — following Louisiana, Alabama, Ohio, and Iowa out the door. That’s seven states. Texas and Alaska may soon follow.This groundswell of resistance has created a panic in the corrupt corporate media too. That should tell you everything you need to know. Election officials in notoriously corrupt Georgia and Utah (a mail-in ballot state!) vowed to keep using the system of course. South Carolina still won’t quit ERIC either. There’s still plenty of work to do — even in red states.

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Maybe Elon Musk should speak out on this.

Attack of the Censorship Karens! (Shellenberger)

In the early afternoon yesterday, we heard from a whistleblower: “There will be a full court press coming up against the Twitter files and the reporters,” the person said. “The press will also be targeting each of you, your histories, and your personal and business connections. This by resistance network folks at the NGO’s and think-tanks.” Not exactly a message we were happy to hear. But we can’t say we were surprised, either. On Wednesday night, “disinformation researcher” Joan Donovan, who was forced to leave the Harvard Kennedy School earlier this year, hinted that an attack on us was imminent. It turned out that the counter-offensive had already begun.

MSNBC’s Mehdi Hasan tweeted out videos from an interview with Twitter Files reporter Matt Taibbi, who Hasan claimed had overestimated the number of tweets censored by the “Election Integrity Project” of the Stanford Internet Observatory. The actual number, Hasan claimed, was only 3,000 tweets, not 22 million tweets. Then, like clockwork, Stanford Internet Observatory’s Alex Stamos, who revealed that his colleague, Renee DiResta, had worked for the CIA, weighed in. “Taibbi’s claim is false,” Stamos tweeted. “The core role of the EIP was to document and analyze election misinformation. 22M is the number we calculated *after* the election of the number of Tweets regarding false claims.” But what Stamos said was “misleading” and thus “malinformation” of the exact same kind that he and DiResta seek to censor.

“Stamos & EIP worked to get entire NARRATIVES banned outright,” explained Mike Benz, the State Department official-turned-whistleblower. “Those narratives, by EIP’s own math, had millions of associated posts.” Taibbi pointed out that the 3,000 number was chosen to hide the full extent of the censorship. “They’re playing games with terms like ‘unique original URL,’” tweeted Taibbi, “where more than 1000 tweets can be “collapsed” into one ‘incident.’” Here’s the thing: it doesn’t matter how many posts they censored. No amount is acceptable. What’s more, trying to normalize censorship, as both Stamos and DiResta are constantly doing, is anathema to the letter and spirit of the First Amendment. Stamos, of course, insists that he and his colleagues did not violate the Constitution. “The EIP is an academic coalition with the 1st Amendment-protected right to analyze the election-related claims of others and to publish our findings, as we did, publicly, over and over again,” he said.

And if that were all they did, they might be okay, but it wasn’t. Instead, Stanford worked hand-in-glove with the Department of Homeland Security’s “Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency,” CISA, to pressure Twitter and Facebook to censor American citizens. Violations of the First Amendment by government proxy are still violations of the First Amendment, which CISA knows perfectly well, and is the reason the agency recently scrubbed its website of its description of its domestic censorship efforts.

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“..two other law enforcement agencies outside of the FBI had undercover agents at the January 6 riots [..] there were at least 40 undercover agents at the riots..”

Proud Boys Attorney Wants to Unmask Informants During Jan. 6 Trial (NW)

An attorney for a member of the Proud Boys recently called on the U.S. government to unmask all of the informants and undercover agents involved in the January 6 Capitol riots. In a motion filed on Wednesday, the attorney for Proud Boys member Dominic Pezzola compelled the government “to reveal all informants, undercover operatives and other Confidential Human Sources (CHSs) relating to the events of January 6.” “Pezzola recently learned that a federal agency other than FBI—the Homeland Security Investigations (HIS) unit—was handling and running undercover CHSs on Jan. 6,” the motion said. “The federal prosecutors in this case are refusing to disclose information regarding these non-FBI informants. The existence, and likely conduct of these CHSs is almost certainly exculpatory for Pezzola.”

The motion this week comes amid the ongoing trial for the Proud Boys, where members including Pezzola, as well as Ethan Nordean, Enrique Tarrio, Joseph Biggs and Zachary Rehl, have been accused of seditious conspiracy and several other charges, in connection to the January 6 riots at the Capitol. The trial has faced several hiccups over the past few months as the attorneys for the Proud Boys have filed numerous motions. Last month, the trial was halted after the government revealed that one witness scheduled to testify was an informant. “During this period of time, the CHS [Confidential Human Source] has been in contact via telephone, text messaging and other electronic means, with one or more of the counsel for the defense and at least one defendant. During this period of time, the CHS also participated in prayer meetings with members of one or more of the defendants’ families,” Carmen Hernandez, an attorney for Rehl, wrote in a motion on March 23.

Additionally, an attorney for Nordean previously filed a motion after “hidden messages” between two FBI agents were revealed. According to the motion filed in early March, government witness Special Agent Nicole Miller provided the court all digital messages related to her testimony; however, a further review of an Excel sheet showed additional messages that appeared to be hidden. In the motion filed this week, Pezzola’s attorney, Roger Roots wrote that two other law enforcement agencies outside of the FBI had undercover agents at the January 6 riots, including “13 undercover plain-clothes agents” with the Washington D.C. Metro Police Department. In total, there were at least 40 undercover agents at the riots, the motion said. “Some of these undercover Metro officers marched with the Proud Boy march. And some appear to have played roles of instigators, in that they are seen on body-worn videos chanting ‘Go! Go!,’ ‘Stop the Steal!,’ and ‘Whose house? Our house!’ on Jan. 6. Others generally followed demonstrators toward the Capitol,” the motion said.

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Two pieces from the Guardian on vaccines to show you how wide the divide is on the topic.

‘A Silver Lining’: How Covid Ushered In A Vaccines Golden Era (G.)

The Covid-19 pandemic has been awful for many reasons. But if there is a bright side to the past three years, it is vaccines. Development and testing has advanced at an unprecedented pace since the arrival of Covid-19, enabling technologies that might otherwise have taken another decade to undergo late-stage clinical testing, regulatory approval and manufacturing scale-up to prove their mettle in millions of people. These advances have set the stage for further breakthroughs in the next five to 10 years that could help to combat some of the greatest scourges of humanity, from common respiratory infections to cancer. “We were anticipating the arrival of a golden era for vaccines before the pandemic, but like during a war, technology tends to develops a lot quicker during a pandemic. I guess a silver lining has been the rapid development of different vaccine technology platforms,” said Prof Brendan Wren, a molecular biologist at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine.

Much of the excitement centres on mRNA-based vaccines, which use the same platform as the Covid-19 shots developed by Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna. Unlike traditional vaccines, which are manufactured in biological systems such as yeast or chicken’s eggs, mRNA vaccines are synthesised chemically, similar to most drugs. “It’s a huge advance, because it is essentially the same synthetic process every time, which means we can scale it,” said Prof Sir Andrew Pollard, the director of the Oxford Vaccines Group at the University of Oxford. Although often sold as a new technology, companies had, in fact, been working on mRNA vaccines for about 20 years, mostly in the context of cancer. However, the pandemic provided the funding and political power to drive this technology over the finish line and prove its worth in hundreds of millions of people.

Since then, the number of trials exploring mRNA vaccines for other diseases has exploded. Last month, the National Institute of Health in the US launched early-stage trials of three experimental mRNA vaccines for HIV. BioNTech is already running trials of mRNA vaccines for malaria, shingles and influenza. Moderna is also testing mRNA vaccines against flu, plus RSV, Zika virus, cytomegalovirus (a leading cause of childhood birth defects) and Nipah virus, a potential pandemic threat. It is also planning clinical trials of an inhaled mRNA therapy for cystic fibrosis, in collaboration with Vertex Pharmaceuticals.

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If you ask me, someone should file a complaint against the Guardian for these Big Pharma puff pieces. People wind up injured, disabled, dead.

Cancer And Heart Disease Vaccines ‘Ready By End Of The Decade’ (G.)

Millions of lives could be saved by a groundbreaking set of new vaccines for a range of conditions including cancer, experts have said. A leading pharmaceutical firm said it is confident that jabs for cancer, cardiovascular and autoimmune diseases, and other conditions will be ready by 2030. Studies into these vaccinations are also showing “tremendous promise”, with some researchers saying 15 years’ worth of progress has been “unspooled” in 12 to 18 months thanks to the success of the Covid jab. Dr Paul Burton, the chief medical officer of pharmaceutical company Moderna, said he believes the firm will be able to offer such treatments for “all sorts of disease areas” in as little as five years. The firm, which created a leading coronavirus vaccine, is developing cancer vaccines that target different tumour types. Burton said: “We will have that vaccine and it will be highly effective, and it will save many hundreds of thousands, if not millions of lives. I think we will be able to offer personalised cancer vaccines against multiple different tumour types to people around the world.”


He also said that multiple respiratory infections could be covered by a single injection – allowing vulnerable people to be protected against Covid, flu and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) – while mRNA therapies could be available for rare diseases for which there are currently no drugs. Therapies based on mRNA work by teaching cells how to make a protein that triggers the body’s immune response against disease. Burton said :“I think we will have mRNA-based therapies for rare diseases that were previously undruggable, and I think that 10 years from now, we will be approaching a world where you truly can identify the genetic cause of a disease and, with relative simplicity, go and edit that out and repair it using mRNA-based technology.” But scientists warn that the accelerated progress, which has surged “by an order of magnitude” in the past three years, will be wasted if a high level of investment is not maintained.

Ladapo
https://twitter.com/i/status/1644054399696642049

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Parrot

 

 

French revolution
https://twitter.com/i/status/1644081399304187905

 

 

CATTREE
https://twitter.com/i/status/1644217894216122370

 

 

Moose

 

 

 

 

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